writers / writing

#IWSG–One Valuable Lesson From Writing

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s  Question: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

I wish I could say communication or creativity, but really for me it’s about perspective. I’ve learned that the words I write, be they for my blog or my novels or simply a comment on an efriends post, are filtered through the experiences of my readers. I need to be clear in what I’m saying without being pedantic, detailed without being boring, opinionated without being judgmental.

That’s not always easy!

How about you? I’m looking forward to visiting my fellow #IWSG friends to see what your take on this question is.

More IWSG articles:

None of My Marketing Seems to Work

Beta Reader? Or not?

It can’t be true, but research says it is!


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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75 thoughts on “#IWSG–One Valuable Lesson From Writing

  1. Jacqui, this is a great point and one that has occurred to me as well over the past year…it means you have to be that extra bit careful, take note and consideration. I’ve always been pedantic and particular about words, but I’ve become more aware than ever of their power and importance – it is worth taking time to seek out just the right word /phrase! It matters to one’s writing and to the readers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I figured this out years ago and it makes a lot of sense. Though, as small as the world is getting, I still miss a lot. I’ve defaulted to being open-minded, assuming innocence before guilt (in a comment I don’t quite get). That helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, Jacqui, I’ve heard similar sentiments to this said recently too. It was advice being given by an established author to a newbie in a blog somewhere, and it was ‘to write as if you were the reader.’ In other words, to start not as ‘the writer’ but as the reader. So, it makes you think, would they know this or understand this? Is the scene easy to picture? And so on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to think that a story could only be told correctly in one way. Now I realize a story can be told in many ways and that they’re all valid. Made me feel better when I realized my voice wan’t like some of the authors I read and enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm. While writing is seen as a creative pursuit, and it is, even more than getting the creative juices flowing it is eventually discipline and hard work that takes it from a thought or idea to a piece of writing that can be read by others.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A thought-provoking post Jacqui…I agree with you, opinionated yet non-judgmental! I have learnt unwavering positivity besides developing the much needed perspective, which defines our written word clearly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. For me, it’s been not submitting to the “authority” or approval of agents (or advisors), but rather following my own creative instincts: writing the stories I want to write the way I think they should be written. Granted, that’s easier to do as a novelist than a screenwriter (hence the reason I made the switch), and it requires confidence in one’s own skills, which only develops after years of practice and false starts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. oh my – insert my lecture on reader response theory – We writers often think we’re creating meaning, when, as you say, meaning is really created in the mind of the reader. We can guide the reader, but they are annoying creatures and often go where we didn’t expect or intend. Best we can do is put the words down and see where they lead.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Perspective – a thoughtful response. I wouldn’t have said anything so worth considering. Perhaps the connection that allows one’s work to be both intimate and universal.

    I’m going to think about this all day – all week.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “being pedantic, detailed without being boring, opinionated without being judgmental”!!!!
    You should run for office – of course you won’t be elected but you should run as a role model for POSSIBILITY.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are talking about audience – I think. Being in tune, knowing who your audience is? It is one of the hardest aspects of writing – at least to me. Making some kind of connection with readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I agree.

      “I need to be clear in what I’m saying without being pedantic, detailed without being boring, opinionated without being judgmental.”

      If you know your audience, you can then decide how detailed to be. I think about times when I have lectured at conferences–there, your colleagues expect a lot of detail, but if you lecture with that same detail to your spouse, friend, etc. you will bore them.

      I do think that audience is hard, and I am much better at it academically than in blogging. I’m still newer to the whole blogosphere.

      Also, I think social media would be SO Much Better if people could figure out how to share their opinions without putting everyone else down.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jacqui, I really feel you got it right in the last sentences. “simply a comment on an efriends post, are filtered through the experiences of my readers. I need to be clear in what I’m saying without being pedantic, detailed without being boring, opinionated without being judgmental. ”

    You got it in a nutshell. 😊
    miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I think that’s a great lesson – and applies to so many aspects of writing. I’ve learned perspective simply from immersing myself in a character’s POV to the point that I’ve seen situations in a fresh light. Plus, I was destroyed by less-than-glowing reviews or responses when I first started out, believing that if I was a “good” writer everyone would see it… but then I got some perspective and got over myself 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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