#IWSG: People…. people who need people

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

The awesome co-hosts this month are Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox – do take a moment to visit them.

October 5 question – What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

The people – plain and simple. I don’t care what genre you write, if the people in the story are just ciphers, if they don’t have depth and nuance, it’ll be uninteresting…. to me.

Something I love to do is sit and people watch. I’m entirely happy being on the outer circle watching the goings on in the inner circle. I observe the body language, the words and tone of voice they use (whether by choice or due to emotion). I notice their interactions and whether they differ person-by-person.

When I’m in a conversation with someone, I pay attention not only to what they say, but what they’re not saying. What subjects they steer clear of, or when they change the subject abruptly. I notice when their laughter sounds forced, or if their smile doesn’t reach their eyes.

As a result, my preferred genre is fiction; indeed it would probably be categorised as women’s fiction, as it’s about real life and relationships. I can write in other genres, but this is what I love, so why would I choose to do otherwise without good reason?

So yeah, I’m the sort of people who needs people – how about you?

© Debra Carey, 2022


#SecondThoughts: What’s the best use of a writer’s time – a blog or Twitter?

The social media platform of choice for writerly me is Twitter. My co-host and writing partner here persuaded me some years back that it’s the best place to be because of the lively & supportive writing community. Nevertheless, my preference remained the writing of blog posts. I’d not given the subject much thought since, until I saw this question asked…

It clear that Twitter has a lively & supporting writing community but, because I don’t spend much (if any) time myself on Twitter, my own experience is not one of engagement. So much so, that when a writer responded on the subject of a recent blog post I’d auto-shared, I experienced quite the moment or two of total blankness before I made the connection, and could engage back in conversation.

This question made me give thought to my practice of using WordPress’s auto-post facility to link to Twitter. Silly really, for all I’m doing is shouting into a void unless I also take the time to engage with other Twitter users.

Worse, although I’ve been putting considerable time and effort into creating blog content, I’ve also committed the sin of not spending time building this blog’s audience by engaging with any degree of consistency with other writing or reading community bloggers either.

It’s all down to a lack of time. I’m no different to other writerly Twitter users or bloggers in that I have a “day job” (or in my case, two day jobs – one to pay the bills, the other a passion project in the building). There’s the usual personal stuff – my other half, my wonderful grown-up daughter and her two fabulous children, an elderly parent, siblings and friends, with the other big calls on my time and energy being photography and a prodigious reading habit. And with all that going on, what’s become clear is that the best use of this writer’s time is to be less scatter-gun in approach and to focus more on building connection.

As a result, my co-host and I decided earlier this year to slim back our output here to free up more time to engage. We no longer provide a monthly #FlashFiction prompt as, until we do more engaging and connection, they were largely going unseen, and we’ve gone from weekly posts on different themes selected from the categories of #SecondThoughts, #WritersResources, #ReadersResources, #IndieSpotlight and #ShortStory, to one monthly post on any one category.

In addition, each month I write a post as a member of the Insecure Writers Support Group. The first reason is that I find the optional questions a useful self-reflection exercise, and the second is the ready-made community of writers to engage with and learn from.

So, my answer to the question of whether the best use of this writer’s time is Twitter or to blog is that neither will work unless combined with time spent building connections – because ‘if you build it they will come’ only worked in Field of Dreams.

© Debra Carey, 2022