Tag Archives: #IWSG

Writing Eclectic For Fun

Thinking about my blog and writing and I have come to the conclusion that in the present I write for self-expression and creativity. I do not have professional writing goals. I write about different topics that interest and inspire me. I create flash fiction and microfiction stories. I do consider myself a writer, maybe with a small ‘w’.  And that’s ok. I am a work in progress.


Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG . Cohosts for May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

Featured image by Natassa64 on Pixabay.com

 

About Those Pesky Mistakes In Writing

“No matter what type of writing you do, it can be easy to miss your own mistakes in the editing process. Since you wrote the words, you often read what you intended to write (and not what is actually written). You can’t see any flaws in your writing because you’re just too close to it.”-Allison Vannest on Grammarly.com

I just wrote a post on Stream of Consciousness Saturday about my frustration at missing errors or omissions in my writing of a short story I wanted to submit for a writing challenge. Part of the problem may have been some fatigue, and when I finish a post, I like to publish it pretty quickly. I was not taking enough time for proofreading and editing. So I had submitted my story and then discovered some mistakes. It was embarrassing, and I reached out to the hosts of the website, but there was nothing to remedy it. One error was that I left out a preposition which caused a sentence to not make sense. I could have sworn I had typed the word, but it was probably in my brain and not getting transferred to my fingers. I had re-read my story a few times, but each time I missed the errors. I later realized that in my hurry to submit the story I did not do a good job at all.

I did some brief research and found a handout online on editing and proofreading with some suggestions that explained how this kind of thing can happen even though I was reading over my writing. The handout states, “When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.” Unconscious corrections, I wrote about this in my SOC post on Saturday, our brains will fill in or correct what is on the page as we read. So the handout suggests, and as a friend writer commented on my post, “try reading out loud, which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together.”  There were some other tips for checking spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Another suggestion was to separate the text into individual sentences and “altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.”

Grammarly has been recommended to me by a couple of writers, and I have added it to my computer. Wondering if this automated proofreader is better than asking a fellow human to check my writing. A reason why I am leery of another human (editor) checking my writing is that it feels a bit intrusive. You need to trust the person to be sensitive and hopefully supportive. A disturbing thought about automated editors like Grammarly, it is changing your writing. I’m not talking about correcting spelling or punctuation so much but if it suggests different words or styles like the Premium version claims it does. So is it really your writing after it gets through?

I proofread my short story with Grammarly Premium, and I found more errors. My most frequent one was leaving out commas, then I had some repeat words. Grammarly did not discover the mistake that I found myself, which had completely messed up one of the sentences. So even though my sentence was grammatically correct, it was still wrong. WordPress proofreader missed a lot more.

I am definitely going to put some of these suggestions to work and keep using Grammarly for now. Have you run into a problem with missed errors in your writing and what tools have you found helpful to address it? Do you prefer human or automated editors?

 


“Editing and Proofreading Handout,” The Writing Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“5 Tips for Editing Your Own Work,” by Allison Vannest on Grammarly.com ( similar but fewer tips than The Writing Center Handout but also recommends using Grammarly).

Featured Image ‘Anna Brassey, Victorian Woman Writing Journal,1883’ via wikimedia.org

Insecure Writers Support Group, #IWSG, Co-Hosts: Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham,Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner!

Appointment To Write

“Most of what is best in writing isn’t done deliberately.”― Madeleine L’Engle

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.

 

 

 

 


 

The first Wednesday of the month is time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This month’s (optional) question is:

What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I am glad this is optional because my answer would be pretty brief. I have been taking a break or mini sabbatical from regular writing, a period of rest or leave. Resolved to not have a schedule at this time. In a bit of flux about where my writing is going. I have made an effort to write Flash Fiction for the Write…Edit…Publish WEP Blogfest. Just finished one for the December Challenge, Redwood. And it did take effort to sit down and write that piece. I had an idea I wanted to explore in the beginning and once I got it started it took on a life of its own in that new ideas did come to me as I wrote it. I am proud of my story. It takes courage to write creatively in that I am putting a part of me out there, making that effort.  I do think that Flash Fiction is an interesting form of writing. Another scheduled writing I have been pretty consistent with is Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Seems like I do have a bit of a schedule in place after all. To write my blog at least once a week and participate in WEP.

“In the final exam in the Chaucer course we were asked why he used certain verbal devices, certain adjectives, why he had certain characters behave in certain ways. And I wrote, ‘I don’t think Chaucer had any idea why he did any of these things. That isn’t the way people write.’

I believe this as strongly now as I did then. Most of what is best in writing isn’t done deliberately.”
Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Insecure Writer’s Support Group, #IWSG, is co-hosted this month by: Tyrean Martinson, The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Rachna Chhabria, and Jennifer Lane. Featured image ‘A girl writes with a quill at a portable writing-desk’ from Instruction and Amusement for the Young, 1830 via wikimedia.org

Wild Fires

” When you’re evacuating from a wild fire it’s hard to decide what to take with you.”

My ability to write provides a path for expression about my life experiences. I am often moved to write when my feelings about a thing run high. Maybe a part of being a writer is the need to chronicle your life.

I thought we had been lucky and avoided the fire season in our section of Southern California. But as it often happens, the fires have their own secret plans. We were evacuated from our home a little over 10 years ago in the middle of the night so this time we decided not to wait until the evacuation order to get packed. Experiencing an evacuation does that to you. You know it can come suddenly, with little warning, and you must go. There had been no evacuation orders yet but we were busy gathering a few mementos and family photos, our wedding album, videos of our kids growing up and my son’s bar mitzvah, a small photo album of my son’s wedding, a few precious notes from my daughter, our kid’s baby shoes…It’s hard to decide and remember what to take with you. My son and daughter in law had to pack up all the equipment in their car for my little baby grandson, just in case. It’s not just the fires but the threat of power outages. Some medical equipment he needs requires electricity. We talked about them coming to our house or her parents depending on who loses power. If all of us lose power they may have to go into West LA to other family. We can see the smoke in the air and hope the Santa Ana winds die out soon.


This post is for One Liner Wednesday hosted by Linda G Hill and the monthly post for the Insecure Writers Support Group, #IWSG , Co-Hosts: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

 

November

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The co-hosts today are: Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!

Click on the link above for the IWSG to get more information about the group and what is the latest goings on.

Each month on Wednesday you can join in and there is an optional question prompt provided. The question for November:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I have not participated in NaNoWriMo which, for those who may not know, is where people participate in a challenge to write an entire novel in a month. Knowing myself, this is something I would not want to do. Good luck to all the members of IWSG who are participating.

That leaves us wondering what are we going to do with the month of November if we are not choosing to spend it writing a novel. Well life goes on and I will be celebrating my first grandson’s 1st  birthday. I will get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. This includes making a turkey dinner. I will continue to read some good books and watch some good movies. November begins with Samhain which has been thought of as the beginning of the dark months of winter in Celtic history. Winter is a time to draw in and conserve energy. I am drawn to slowing down. And there is the next WEP December Challenge coming up soon enough.

A flashback? A new start? A cascading change? A branching off point? An end and a beginning? Celebrate year’s end with us!


Featured image ‘Autumn’ by KreativeHexnkueche on Pixabay.com

Surprised

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

 

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
September 6 Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in??
The awesome co-hosts for the September 6 posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!
Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
I did not expect to be able to write very short flash fiction and some longer pieces. It has been heartening to find that I could do it and receive positive feedback. I have written some longer pieces in fantasy and science fiction genres, and have enjoyed it. There are times when I will write something for a blog post or stream of consciousness and struggle with it a bit and think it is not that good. Then, it is surprising when others say they really liked the post. Should we write things because we think others will like it? Or write what we want to say? 
Does anyone else do this? → If I am writing a story that I plan to submit to a writing community blog or even if I am working on a new story which I am not ready to share, I do not want to read other people’s stories from the community until mine is finished. I don’t want to compare my story with anyone’s writing because I worry it will influence what I am writing or make me doubt myself. I have started writing some science fiction and I noticed that The Hugo Award went to all women this year. ( Yay! Actually, I saw it on Art Fix Friday National Museum for Women in the Arts Blog). I did not want to read excerpts from their stories yet because I do not want it to show up in my story in some way.
This rings true for me, how about you?→”If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in, the chances are very high that you will interest other people as well.”-Rachel Carson

Insecure Writers Pet Peeves

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

August 2 Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

This is my August post for IWSG. The question is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
This probably does not qualify as a peeve because it is something that irks me about my own writing.  It is that it is difficult to catch all my own writing errors even when I recheck my posts,(several times), for errors. Many times I will catch them after I have published my post. Yikes. Some people, who have read my blog since the beginning, may be surprised to hear me say this. I did step into some controversy once when I said I thought it was wrong for other writers to point out writing errors to bloggers. You might think this is because I was making errors and resented others pointing them out. It was in response to other bloggers mentioning they had been criticized. There is a big part of me that does not like it when I think others are being bullied and so I reacted. I recently read a post by Kimberly Coyle on The Write Life, How To Effectively Give and Receive Constructive Feedback as a Writer.  and the author pointed out is it better not to focus on grammatical errors,

“Remember you are critiquing the overall craft, not mechanics like punctuation and misspellings.

You’re not reading as a copyeditor, but as a fellow writer looking at the bigger picture. When you hyper-focus on the minutia, it helps the writer improve as a practitioner, but not as an artist.”-Kimberly Coyle

I would agree that especially when writers are starting out it is better not to nit pick their writing unless you are asked to edit. I have been a Beta reader a few times. The first time I did it I was pretty insensitive in a remark I made about a character. It is a learning process to be able to give a critique. I am still learning and hope that in the Beta reading I have done since there is improvement.  Another point from Kimberly’s post:

“If a critique doesn’t resonate with you in any way, you’re not compelled to make the recommended changes. You decide how far and how many of the changes will make their way into your work.Trust your instincts. You, the writer, have the final say.”

This is something I know I would struggle with because I am a new writer. This is where the art comes in too because when you are creating it may not be recognized or accepted. We do have to have the final say about our own work.

In regards to first point about catching my own errors, it makes me aware of the necessity of a good editor if I were to publish a short story or book. I have noticed, in recent years, more errors in published books and articles. I have read this is due to publishers cutting back on live editors for spell check type editing. It is annoying to find errors in published articles and books.


Featured image of Woman from Pompeii fresco via Wikimedia.