This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

**

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Question of Genre ( #IWSG )


       My tendency is to write what I like reading, otherwise self-editing becomes a bit of a chore for me.  But pay me enough and I'll write anything....



The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the June 5th posting of the IWSG are
 Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte.

June 5 question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?




         If blogging were considered a genre then I'd say blogging is my favorite, however blogging can consist of writing in various genres.  Over the years I've blogged in multiple writing genres, mostly non-fiction narratives related to memoir or opinions.  What I like most about writing blog posts is keeping what I have to say to a minimum.  I guess I'm the typical lazy writer.

        Before blogging though, a frequent genre that I liked to write in is what I guess would be called surrealism.  This partly stems from years of writing detailed accounts of my dreams.  I would write stories in my creative writing classes that would come back from the professors with comments like:  What does this mean?

         They had a point I guess.  Most of my submissions to publications back in the seventies was in the surrealistic mode and all of them came back to me rejected.  Reading some of these now I can see why the stories weren't published.  Not that they were poorly written, but what they had to say was so ambiguous and weird that most people would probably not appreciate them.

         If I were to start writing fiction again I might have an inclination toward a certain amount of surrealism, but I would also try to give more coherence to whatever I was writing.  That is, if I were to start writing more fiction, which I might some day or I might not.  For now my writing will be short blog posts and songwriting.   

         I don't want to put off or lose readers with bizarro writing that doesn't connect with them.  I will say though that I do like writing that way because it can stretch my creative flow.  Usually when writing in this style I will go with a stream of consciousness approach.  I will twist and turn words and phrases, come up with outlandish metaphors, or interject asides that amuse me.

          There's the problem--what I find fun to write is probably highly unreadable to most readers.  Like my professors they are likely left scratching their heads and leaving my story behind.  It was fun for me.  Kind of like some of the nutty films made back in the seventies.  I used to think certain films were so cool.  But now I watch some of them shrugging my shoulders wondering why I thought they were so great.  

           Maybe it's a matter of times and tastes.  Maybe now if I started writing in some mind chattery free-form style about peculiar topics I'd still have a grand time doing it.  I just don't think most people would want to read it.

           Guess I'll just write a blog post.  At least it will probably be short.

            Have you ever dabbled in writing experimental or non-traditional forms of writing?  Do you enjoy genre mashing and crossing?   If you're getting paid to do it, do you enjoy writing about things in which you have no interest?  


If you haven't done so yet, please stop by to vote on my current Battle of the Bands.  





43 comments:

  1. Unreadable makes it challenging. But if you are writing just for you, then it doesn't matter.
    I don't think I could write something I didn't enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, one of the things I often didn't like about school was writing about stuff that I didn't enjoy. But then I discovered how to have fun with that, though it wasn't always the best for my grades.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. James Joyce majored in surrealism as did Kurt Vonnegut but I guess it all depends on what editor appreciates. Harlan Ellison said that if you could write, you could write in any genre, but then, he was a genius! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, some writers have pulled off surrealism or something similar quite successfully. Probably my writing was too personal or too esoteric for readers.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. You make such a great point about blogging being across genres. I never really thought about it that way, but it makes total sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CS, there are so many things people do on their blogs. A lot of fiction as well as non-fiction and poetry. Maybe rather than calling them "genres" it would be more appropriate to label them as "niches"?

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I'm not sure what I'd think of written surrealism, though I love surrealist films, computer games, and paintings. A big appeal for me is being able to see the surrealism, not just imagine it for myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, there are so many different forms of surrealism and related micro-genres that it can be easy to write something in one of those forms or do some crisscrossing through more than one. I'd relate surrealistic style to anything related to dreams or dreamlike in some sense.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Gifted writers can write about anything. I enjoy your memoir writing. You have so many great stories to tell.
    Mary at Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I agree that a good writer can be fairly effective with any topic or style if they set their mind to it. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. I think blogging is it's own art form and definitely counts as a genre. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loni, it's definitely on its own something or other.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Learning to write something I enjoy that is for audiences at large to also enjoy has been a steep learning curve for me. Now I need to educate myself on writing surrealistically. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, we can write for the market or for a relatively small niche audience depending on our goals or the expediency of doing what we decide to do. You might enjoy the surrealistic style. You might find that you've written things already in this style.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. When I started writing, some of it was very surreal. I don't think anyone else would get it though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, often I think it's a stage of the youthful writer looking for voice. When I was in college I tended to be more rebellious and crazier thinking. Surrealistic nonsense fit with my state of mind back then.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I wish more writers realized that what is fun to write isn't always fun to read. hehehe

    Great post as always.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, it probably depends on a writer's skills and coherency of thinking. Maybe matching writers and readers is a bit like entering into a romantic relationship.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Hi Lee,

    I find it difficult, if not impossible, to write about subjects that don't interest me. However, getting paid is interesting...

    There are actually very few genres I don't read or dabble at writing in, but what you know (and truly enjoy) always seems to flow better.

    I do believe blogging is a genre all its own, and you're quite good at it! Happy writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, I'm not sure how long I could stay in a job that required me to write about things in which I had no interest. Although if I wrote about certain topics enough I would eventually start having an interest in them. Haven't found out yet.

      There is a comfort in being in familiar territory.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Kudos to you! I like surrealistic, stream of consciousness writing. I've done some of that too. Writing out of the box - we should have our own genre (OOTB). It's the most fun.

    Cheers, Arlee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn, I tend to be OOTB I think--or least "outside the box". I often march to that old proverbial different drummer.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Just write in whatever way gives you joy. I do stream of conscious when I don't know what to write. It always leads me somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liza, that is the essence of enjoying life I think: Do what you love. SOC is a good writing exercise I think.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. My favorite writing is in-character, with a really great character. I would love to do a long Pontius Pilate story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, your idea sounds like it would make for an excellent story.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Does purple prose count as surreal? No - just bad. But I had fun writing that way in my teens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, I think purple prose might lend itself well to the surrealistic genre, but I think it might cross many genres. It can be distracting to read.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. The best thing is that it gave you happiness to write it! It might be hard for people to understand but it is expressive. I've written some stuff that's pretty out there myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H.R., I'm seeing experimental writing very related to poetry. I guess that's partly where the term "creative writing" comes from.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. My favorite genre to read and write is noir mystery. I think I belong in the 1940's. Ha. Happy IWSG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adrienne, I do enjoy film noir--watch a lot of it in fact. The 1940's would be fun to visit, but I'm not totally sure that I'd want to live there.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Write what you love and keep blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, no plans to stop blogging yet, but then again blogging came to me somewhat serendipitously and took me by storm for a while.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Other genre just doesn't speak to me. I write best when I write what I know, who I am.

    Blogging came along at the right time for me. All my random writing suddenly had a focus. Also, suddenly I was more faithful to writing every day.

    thanks for getting this all rolling, Arlee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, blogging helped me as well in regard to more focus on writing. Having an outlet to get read by others is a great encouragement.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. I have no genre orientation in writing....

    Have a wonderful day

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like writing different genres. I was a teenager in the 70s and like some of the psychedelic stuff that came out then! Gertrude Stein was a writer who wrote without punctuation and to me, some of her stuff was surreal and psychedelic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, that stuff without punctuation can be challenging to read. Maybe you just have to be in the right state of mind to appreciate it.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. Dear Alex. Thank you for this uplifting post. This morning I don’t feel quite as alone as Yesterday in my quirks !
    Please do share your dream-like surreal writings. If not in a post, then send me some via email: susan.rouchard@cegetel.net
    And I’ll send you some of mine !
    Have an inspiring weekend.
    Susan Baury Rouchard, also on WordPress. Life in Poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sorry, Arlee, I meant ! Alex is next !

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't get surrealism all that well but now and then I like to read something that is not quite in the norm or easily understood. sometimes just enjoying the words is enough I think.

    I think everything's an experiment because we haven't done it yet so I don't mind experimental and non-traditional writings but I doubt I would write that kind of writing.

    I just want to say thanks for stopping by my blog, have a lovely day.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee