Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG: Everything Old is New Again


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for October is a doozy: It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

I think the real question here is how is someone who doesn’t read able to write anything worth reading? Perhaps the question implies that this writer isn’t reading anything NEW for fear of subconsciously plagiarizing something he or she has just or is now reading. But what about all the things they’ve read to this point? Did all that input somehow just disappear from memory? Does this isolated author not watch TV, have conversations, listen to the news or music? ALL input influences our creative stewpot of ideas. It’s ridiculous to assume that not reading while writing makes all new material ORIGINAL. Smarter folk than me have already determined that there are no new ideas, just new interpretations of them. Fresh input is what stimulates the imagination, stirs What if's that fuel plots and character development. If you don’t embrace the beauty of words and ideas, how can you create either? 


On the other hand, while I’m writing in one genre, I make a conscious effort not to read books that contain the same threads I’m using – not because I’m afraid that I’ll duplicate them, but because I might get discouraged from the direction I’m going because my ideas aren’t as ‘original’ as I thought. The “It’s already been done and probably better” has killed many a great notion.

I’d as soon not eat as not read (actually, I should probably do a lot less of the former!). Reading stimulates creative imagination, giving us the primary colors we use for our own masterpieces. It’s all in the mixing and shading and exploration that a new great work is rendered.

Final take: A well not fed will soon run dry.

Find out what other IWSGers think by exploring the links below.



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.The awesome co-hosts for the October 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

24 comments:

  1. I can't imagine not reading. Even if I'm reading something completely different from my own work, it often inspires me to get back to writing.

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  2. Reading certainly stimulates the imagination. I find it helpful for finding new ideas, which in some cases, my mind ends up wandering and I have to get back to the book. ;)

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    Replies
    1. I hate it when that creative mind wanders when it's supposed to be focused but it certain travels to interesting places!

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  3. Great post, Nancy! It's the beautiful blend of all the everyday things in our world that stimulates us, planting seeds of ideas in our minds. Hopefully we gather them, add our own unique flavors, and produce magic of our own!

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  4. I can't imagine not reading, too. I've always been afraid of losing my sight and not being able to read. Yes, I know I could listen to audio books, but it's not the same. I'm not crazy about reading out of my comfort zone. My local book group makes sure I do that. But it is stimulating.

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    Replies
    1. Audio is no match for the tactile feel of a book or the sight of them on the screen.

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  5. Reading has been so much a part of me ever since my mom started reading to me. I can't imagine not doing it. And you're right about how it and so much else we experience can be the start of a good story line.

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  6. So true. No one writes in a vacuum.

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    Replies
    1. Especially mine since I haven't emptied it for a while (sorry, long day and I couldn't resist).

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  7. Love your blog. Especially love your final take of "a well not fed will soon run dry." How true.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Diana! Sometimes I fear I'm a little too well fed.

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  8. Love the line about the well running dry! I try to fill that well with not only books but also TV, movies, art, nature, etc. So much creativity in the world! :)

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  9. Loving to read is why I want to write. Happy IWSG Day!

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    Replies
    1. I listened to words being read before I could read them and never lost that sense of wonder and mystery.

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. "A well not fed will soon run dry." Love that!

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