IWSG – July

IWSG Badge

“Keep changing, because when you’re through changing—you’re through.”  Bert-Olaf Svanholm 

“An essential aspect of CREATIVITY is not being afraid to fail.”  Isaac Newton 

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.  Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

In reading the June issue of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s newsletter, Hannah Haney in her article “A Writer’s Voice has Power” poised an interesting question…

JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I’m laughing… I loved hearing that my writing is improving and growing stronger.  Heck, I have edited this article at least four times.  But foremost, the most important comment anyone made to me is that I write real.  Growing up in my family was like avoiding the Vietnamese landmines.  You needed to watch where you stepped.  As crazy as home life was for my brother and me, it was not as heart-wrenching as Frank McCourt’s life per his book, Angela’s Ashes, but there were situations that I truly believe should be told.

Invaluable life’s lessons sprout from books and stories whether through fact or fiction.  However, we don’t understand tripping over mole-holes or falling face first into the mud until we have walked in another’s shoes experiencing why they slipped up, first hand. Learn from others so that our lives will be better, and we will understand the pain and joy people around us experienced.

If you read memoir or fiction based on fact, WHAT is important to you about what you read? What draws you into the story? Why did you pick up the book in the first place?  What hooked you into the story? Are you interested in learning from others’ lives?  What bores you to tears… or did I just do that?  You see, I am insecure! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments, so I hope you will share them with me.  You will help me grow. Thank you for your comments.

About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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20 Responses to IWSG – July

  1. Coming from a large family, there were always situations we needed to avoid. If someone were in a bad mood, it was not a good idea to mess with them. Better to leave angry and moody people alone. Needless-to-say we always annoyed the heck out of them and never left them alone. Myself included, got and gave. It was probably this that helped influence my need for books and then ultimately, writing stories of my own to get away and escape. I think reading and writing helped me to become a better person. Even though I still suffer form insecurities galore. It’s something we all have. Though that may not be encouraging per se, it is nice to know we all have things we are dealing with. But I think if we are able to talk about it, we are in a better position to take care of ourselves. I know you can do this. It’s how we deal with these problems that define us. You will do a good job, because you are looking for the answer. Keep searching, keep looking and you will find. Even in writing. Keep refining, keep editing, you will success because you want to.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Jeffrey, THANKS so much for your comment and words of encouragement. I commented on your blog too. I want to grow and succeed, but I have given up. Finding places to publish what I want to write is difficult for me. Then as I wrote you, Christmas Eve I called 911 for my husband and I’m STILL caregiving for him. I’m exhausted.

      Also, I’m seeing that life is changing so maybe some of the dynamics I wanted to write about are unnecessary… but maybe not. You are correct though… I have learned a great deal in researching and writing. My brother’s life is not the only life experiences people could benefit from… I’m part of that picture. What a surprise! Should you be interested go into my Family Section on my blog and read my story “Acceptance” and you will get a slight picture of what my brother and I experienced.

      Again, THANKS for your great comments. I should read them every day to remind me to keep going! Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month. Gwynn

  2. Susan says:

    Terrific post Gwynn! What a lovely response from Jeffrey Scott. I like what he says that it is how we deal with our problems that define us.

    I agree we learn from others when they write about their experiences. We can walk in their shoes for a while and though it is a vicarious experience something strikes a recognitory chord (unsure there is a word recognitory). –

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks Susan, for your support. I too LOVED Jeffrey’s comment. I may read it daily!

      However, one thing that is a problem for me is being exhausted in taking care of John. My brain shuts down. Plus, I am taking him to the chiropractor three times a week and to a doctor. To add to the fun I have an appointment with the Univ. of WA to examine my hip and knee. Being Humpty Dumpty is NOT fun! Maybe I’ll learn something from this experience, though.

      Are you back from your trip, or are you still on the road? Thanks for you wonderful support!

  3. Hearing that you “write real” is a wonderful compliment! I don’t read a lot of memoir or fiction based on fact, but when I do, it’s the voice that really gets to me.

  4. Yes, it is best, if we’re alert enough and wise enough to learn from others’ experiences. You’re doing fine, Gwynn. You seem to have come through myriad and stressful changes lately with flying colors. My personal experience is that just when I think I am really, really cool, I slip and fall flat into the mud. We are all insecure.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I have to laugh… I missed you slipping into the mud. I think you are hallucinating! 😉 Have you posted anything on your blog lately, as I have not received notifications?

      You are kind with your compliments. It helps me read your writing and the writing of others to see how people “show” instead of “tell.” I’m learning! However, with the stress in my life I have had difficulty writing anything, which concerns me. It will be interesting to see what positive changes occur— I can hardly wait!

      Take care… and NO doing any face-plants into the mud!

      • Well, Gwynn, just because I haven’t told you my mud story doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It did; it does. No, I haven’t written a blog post lately — too much else going on currently. As for you, yes stress can wreak havoc with our muse, but keep writing; you have too much talent and ability not to.

        • Gwynn Rogers says:

          Now, this is interesting… you snuck right in and my blog didn’t tell me you were here. That mud, must still be covering you since you magically appeared. I’ll have to email you to find out what mischief you have been up to! Thanks for your compliments!

        • Gwynn Rogers says:

          OH… I managed to find you before your reply found my inbox. You aren’t running around incognito after all! 😉

  5. pat garcia says:

    My Friend,
    Some of my hardest lessons have been overcome because I read. Both fiction and non-fiction books teach me things that I would not have experienced anywhere else because you can’t experience everything. I guess that is one of the reason, I treasure reading and it is so close to my heart.

    By the way, I love your William Faulkner quote. I am a fan of Faulkner and I don’t think there is a book that he wrote that I have not read.

    You are an excellent writer. Your writing is real and that is why what you write makes an impact on my life.
    Shalom aleichem,

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I have always been a reader, but as a youngster I preferred mysteries—Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew. Over the years my reading became more eclectic as I bounced around between genres. Now, later in life I tend to want some form of ‘meaning’ or education out of what I read. But I’m learning that putting my heart on the page is easier said than done.

      You are such a great supportive friend. Plus, the more you write, the more you bloom! I’m happy to see that about you! You have been a busy lady today, supporting the other bloggers in the IWSG… I take my hat off to you! Thanks for being such a lovely friend! Hugs!

  6. Toi Thomas says:

    Do I read memoir or fiction based on fact? sometimes
    WHAT is important to you about what you read? characters I can relate to
    What draws you into a story? a sense of realism, especially if it’s fiction
    Why do you pick up the book? usually because I liked the premise or blurb
    What hooks you into the story? usually a character I root for
    Are you interested in learning from others’ lives? yes
    What bores you to tears? self-loathing without hope
    I hope you find this is helpful. Thanks for asking and sharing this message. I like your quotes.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Toi, Thanks for stopping by to comment. I love to hear the thoughts of other bloggers. I am enjoying meeting other bloggers. Do you feel that using Twitter helps you gain followers? It is difficult for me to follow many different blogs as I’m also involved with friends via Facebook. I feel I am overloaded with things to do sometimes. I do appreciate your time and insight. Thanks!

  7. Liesbet says:

    Determination. Patience. Hope. Care. Attention. Priorities. They are needed to support and take care of a (temporary) disabled or sick loved one. They are also needed to write a book. A lack of energy is a drain in any case. But, effort gets rewarded and each day there is some improvement on any level is a good day. Getting on a schedule might help to combine the caring and the writing.

    I always complain about not having time enough to do what I want (even now that I stopped traveling for a bit to accommodate other “projects”), but it is all about choices and priorities. I like to read and I like to write, but other things in life always come first. I want to change that and I know that if I put a schedule in place it might help, but it also feels like it restricts me in my freedom to do what I feel like doing next. I like books about adventure, that tell me something about the world, and books that teach me how to write better.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks for commenting Liesbet. I have been caring for my husband for over six months now. I’m running out of energy. Also, I LOVE being out and about with people and nature, so I need that to refresh me. But then I have a schedule of things that need to be done for my husband each day. So when I sit down to try to write, I stare at the blank screen. So far, my writing seems to be emails or clearing out Facebook comments. Of course, I’m great at coming up with excuses too.

      Like you, I love books and love reading books that teach me to write better. Now, if only I can make my mind work better. Thanks again for commenting!

  8. You do write real, Gwynn. As someone who’s gotten to know bits and pieces about your family (your dear brother’s story), I would read your memoir, for sure, even if I rarely read memoir. Why? I’ve been disappointed by famous folks who hide behind someone else’s voice (the hired writer), and by folks who promise and don’t deliver. To me, memoir is about more than inviting the reader in, but allowing the reader to step in, open up to the reader — the good, the bad, the ugly. Few writers do that, mostly because it’s hard to open up. However, some do it masterfully, and I think you would. So … here’s something to think about. 🙂
    Great post, through and through.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh Silvia, you are such a great friend and supporter. To me, if you don’t write real, what is the value of writing? But yes, I’m sure fiction is just another vehicle for unloading emotions, if it is done well. Each of us have our reason for writing, but at the same time what attracts the reader?

      Thank you for your comments. I’ll let them percolate for a while. HUGS to you!

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