This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Just Sayin' ( #IWSG & #AtoZChallenge Reflections )

 


     In this post I'll be addressing the May 2021 edition of The Insecure Writer's Support Group and tie that in with my Reflections on the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Yeah, everything is connected--or at least I can find a way to connect one thing to another.  It's the story of life...


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 May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine.



May 5 question - Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?


Unexpected Reactions

        When I was taking fiction writing classes in college I poured so much into the stories I created that I regularly thought that I had created a masterpiece that my professor would rave about.  Well, he might have raved sometimes, but not in the positive ways that I had expected.  That's what writing professors are supposed to do I guess.  And more likely I was too invested in my own sense of genius and a bit blinded to the fact that my writing needed more work.  Why should have I expected otherwise?  My professor was supposed to instruct and guide me and not be an adulating fanboy.  

          Other than teachers, my writing didn't fall into the hands of many readers other than close friends and few of them read much of my writing.  It was not so much any fear of mine that they might say something bad about my writing, but it was a simple matter of getting them to read anything I had written.  Besides, I wasn't especially pushing my writing on others.

           After I discovered that blogging would be a way of putting my writing out in a public way where I might find an occasional reader of my work, my blog became my forum for presenting what I had created to others in hopes of getting some kind of reaction.  Mostly I received positive comments and encouragement that made me want to keep writing.  No longer did I have to submit writing to publications that would end up sending rejection letters.  I could just write what I pleased and my work would be out there for public consumption and I might get some nice comments now and then.  

         For the most part it's been all well and fine and blogging continues to provide us all with a platform to present our words as we want to say them. Unfortunately there is such a strong divide within society about this or that and some people get so disturbed about reading anything other than opinions they share.  This has presented a problem for a blog like mine which by the nature of the title Tossing It Out  suggests that I will be presenting my opinions and views about just about anything.  And that's the course I set out upon from the beginning.

        I've lost readers because of certain opinions that I've shared and at times those readers have departed with nastily deprecating comments as they faded off into their own corners.  We live in odd times of "I'm not gonna be your friend anymore" not just because of differences of opinions, but more due to a belligerent attitude of not even going to listen to the other side if it doesn't agree with one's own opinions.  

       Writing is all about opinions and an author expressing those opinions.  Whether it be fantasy, romance, mystery, or whatever the genre an author injects themselves somehow into the story which means an author's opinions and views about life and the world are mixed up in all that conveyance of the thoughts and imagination of a story being told.  Sure, that's my opinion, but I don't see how it could be otherwise.

        Expectations are figments of our own minds.  They are often shattered as we are directed toward a greater reality--whatever reality is.   When I'm pouring myself into my writing I sometimes get a sense of the exhilaration that I am going to change the world--or some small portion of it--with the genius of my words.  I am my own biggest fan until my words hit a different fan.   Reality sets in.  The clarity of my writing becomes muddled in the confusion of differences of opinion that result in a negativity towards me or my ideas or my writing.

        In the end, it's all okay.  Writers have always had their critics as well as their fervent admirers.  That is how it should be and likely always will be--at least I hope.  In today's world many are quick to cancel, censor, or criticize depending on a writer's opinions.  At least give a fair hearing of what a writer has to say.   The beginning of a story is not the whole story just as the end of the story makes little sense if you don't know what came before.



Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2021 Reflections

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge


         As Frank Sinatra once sang:  "It was a very good year".

         Not that 2021 has been all that great, but it sure beats last year.  I think that would my summation of A to Z as well.  I barely remember A to Z 2020, but that year is a big blur for the most part anyway.  The baloney pandemic hit my life at an okay time since I am retired and mostly stay home anyway, but still it was all absurd.  But that was then and this is now, which is kind of like then but with some kind of hope ahead.  I guess.
 
         You'd think that me being retired would mean that blogging would be all that I have to do.  Apparently not though since these days I'm a rather half-hearted blogger.  Like the last few Challenges, I fell way short of making rounds to other blogs or even devoting much time to my own posts.

         Nevertheless I'm happy with my 2021 posts on Rivers of America.  I actually learned a lot in my research and my readers seemed to enjoy the series.  The idea for this theme kind of seemed to come out of nowhere.  When I suggested my theme in my March Reveal post I wasn't even sure where I was going with it.  So a few days before the start of the Challenge I started coming up with river thoughts in an A to Z fashion.  Through the month of April I basically wrote my posts anywhere from a few days ahead of time to the night before the post was to go up.  As they say, I winged it.  Or floated it or whatever.

         And so I'm done.  Great job me and everyone else that I was keeping up with.

         And very special thanks to the ever dedicated A to Z Team of J Lenni Dorner (captain) @ Blog of Author J Lenni Dorner,  Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored DiaryJohn Holton @ The Sound of One Hand Typing,  Jayden R Vincente @ J R Vincente Erotica Writer, and Jeremy Hawkins (graphics) @ Hollywood Nuts.

          Don't forget to check the Blogging from A to Z Blog for the survey which will help us in the future and for other fun things coming up. If you haven't gotten your T-shirt to display your A to Z bragging rights you can find info on how to obtain one.

        Thanks to everyone who played along and hope you'll be back for the 2022 Challenge!













29 comments:

  1. You nailed it that some people don't even want to hear another opinion. I don't understand it all either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, it's sad. I enjoy debate and discussion, but these days it can be difficult to talk to someone who has vastly different views. Much of the time I find it better just to stay silent.

      Lee

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    2. GUYS ~

      The technical term is 'Post-Modernism'.

      You won't find that term in The Holy Bible, but you surely will find the times that we are living through described in portions of both the Old and New Testaments.

      Although it infuriates me, there is NOTHING happening today that is catching me by surprise. I've known that "this era" was coming since I first began seriously studying The Bible in early 1994.

      Buckle your seat belts and strap on your crash helmets (store canned goods & water, and convert dollars into gold & silver), because... WE AIN'T SEEN NUTTIN' YET!!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS'

      Delete
    3. I'm not too worried. It's in God's hands. I'll do what I can but some things are just going to happen.

      Delete
  2. Like me, you've been blogging a long time and it's easy to get burnt out a bit.

    I've lost some friends on Facebook but at least now I don't have to read their ugly comments anymore. it would be one thing if there was a discussion, but it's all "My way or no way."

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    Replies
    1. L.Diane, Now blogging is less of novelty for me and more like a chore.

      Facebook and other sites got pretty nasty for a while. Now it seems quieter, but that might be because a lot of people unfriended or blocked me so I don't see their posts. That's fine--I didn't want to see a lot of them anyway.

      Lee

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  3. Great read Lee, I found it challenging for me to do the A to z this year as I felt I was not doing my usual amount of writing on my blog so I challenged myself to see if I could keep up......I did.
    Like challenge number 1.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, But you did it and that's what counts!

      Lee

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  4. I agree with Lee. You're thinking reminds me of Mark Twain. I love his work because he makes me think. Keep it up. That's why we write. Some folks will always love it and some may not. That's ok. And you're right, 2021 isn't great, but it's better than this time last year. Happy IWSG Day.

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    Replies
    1. Erika, to be compared to Mark Twain is a huge compliment. He might have had a tough time with his writing in our age.

      Lee

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  5. I avoid sensitive topics for the very reason you described. I'm non-confrontational and would rather stick to topics such as my writing progress because that's less likely to create a fight.

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    Replies
    1. Loni, I've mostly been avoiding much controversy in the past few years. But I'm not too interested in writing about my writing so I just stay to a limited number of topics.

      Lee

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  6. Well done with your challenge, I enjoyed a lot the river I discovered!

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    Replies
    1. Frederique, thank you for following my posts so faithfully!

      Lee

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  7. Hi Lee!

    Nice way to tie it all together. We write because we need to. Pleasing everyone is not something we agree to. Differing opinions aren't as surprising to me as the vehemence used in voicing opposing views. I still remember when most people were civilized.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your Rivers of America posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, I enjoy debate and intelligent discussion but sadly a lot of folks prefer just to harangue and lecture and not hear any opposing view. Who learns from that?

      I appreciate your visits to my A to Z posts.

      Lee

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  8. So many people these days just hear/read what someone says and immediately react, instead of taking the time to listen and trying to understand. We're under no obligation to suddenly convert to that person's way of thinking (whatever the issue), but we can at least have respectful, mature dialogues and learn about what makes one another tick.

    I don't get people who leave long, vitriolic comments instead of just navigating away from that page, mentioning something else, or waiting to comment on another post. Do they think, e.g., we'll suddenly start to hate an album we've loved for years, love a book we've always hated, or change our entire personal value system because someone couldn't bear another opinion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, I think the more we listen to each other the more we find that we basically want similar things.

      I guess some people just like to start a dialogue with a contentious base. I used to see long ongoing harangues on certain blogs back when I used to look at such things.

      Lee

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  9. Oh yes! Sadly, I think it is the ability to promote opinions anonymously and or virtually that allows people to be so direct and in many cases, negative or antagonistic. Oh for the days when it was inappropriate to discuss money, religion or politics in polite society... Just dated myself there!

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    Replies
    1. Liza, I do think internet behavior has influenced the ways we interact in direct contacts.

      Lee

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  10. I think the more you get your writing out there, the more likely you are to meet with negative opinions. It's the books that no one reads that get only good reviews.
    I'm sorry about the people who were offended. I miss the old days when we were able to "agree to disagree" with grace.

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  11. Thanks for all the great posts about rivers, Arlee. And Congratulations on completing another Challenge. This is my 10th year (missed 2020) and am looking forward to next year. One big thing I noticed this year was that it was so much easier to post comments on most of the blog sites.

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  12. Sometimes views only change by people demanding the change. But not everyone goes about it in the best way. That's what keeps all the juicy drama in politics, right? I guess so.

    Anyway. This year was certainly better than last year for A to Z. Not because of numbers (though the drop out rate was SO MUCH better this year), but because there were posts with hope and fun. There was a good atmosphere.

    I liked your river posts. You've got a whole year to come up with more A to Z for next year. 😉 Maybe time for an actual road trip, drive around looking for A to Z stuff. An A to Z of independent book sellers. I bet that'd be fun!

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

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  13. You made me laugh with your “that was then....” comment. Congrats on floating to the end.

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  14. Hi Arlee
    There is a lot to say/write about the Closed Minds vs Noncommittal Minds vs the Open Minded. Discourse is the rarity nowadays for the most part. I've been trying to fight that for years through theater, teaching, and writing.
    I've asked the questions "why?" (or more profound ones) more often in the last two years. I'm doing my best to be in that moment with deep listening, and dampening any judgments from popping up.
    Anger and self-righteousness gets in the way from even approaching a discussion, and that does make me sad.
    Thanks again for creating this A to Z space. I liked the river journeys. Kinda makes me want to get on that raft down the big river.

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  15. It is definitely difficult to have conversations sometimes these days. I must admit that I am guilty of not wanting to listen to some of the "Other" people unless they are speaking with facts and not fiction. It was interesting reading about your rivers. No controversy there!
    Janet’s Smiles

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  16. I am someone who usually can see both sides of an argument

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  17. You "winged it" or "floated it"... I like that! I enjoyed your river posts. There's something calming about water, even when reading about it.

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  18. I love that blogging allows us to share our work and get feedback from like-minded individuals. I feel like I've found my "tribe" with the IWSG, WEP and A-Z challenge communities.

    There will always be people who dislike with what we write. I'm trying to grow a thicker skin. I welcome differences of opinion as long as it's pointed out in a respectful manner. Too often, people result to personal attacks on each other rather than responding to things rationally.

    I am not very good at Geography but found your posts about rivers interesting.

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
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Lee