Taking Risks (IWSG April)

Welcome to another month of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. On the first Wednesday of each month we blog about writing, hoping to encourage others out there. You are not alone. This is what the IWSG is all about.

This month’s blog hop is co-hosted by the wonderful PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton.

Insecure Writer's Support Group logo and text, in orange and white, with a lighthouse in the background.

Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

This month we’re talking risk.

And I have to admit to you all that yes, I do like it… but I don’t always write it.

As a new author, I am still learning so much about the tools of the trade, so to speak, and by so doing I tend to stick to the traditional route for style and structure. I want my stories to be accessible and marketable, which means I have to be aware of what and how people are currently writing, and not to meander too far from the norm. Which is not to say that different is bad–far from it! But you have to be really, really good to pull it off as a new author, in my opinion. And here you see my imposter syndrome, and the reason I’m reluctant to take huge risks…

Then again.

I do like to play around with writing. You might have seen this if you’ve explored some of the stories and poems I’ve shared on this blog. I’ve written in second, first, and third-person; past and present tense; I’ve even written dialogue from an ant’s point of view that used arrows instead of speech marks. I like to explore variation in story length, from micro- to flash- to short-story to poem.

But I’d say the most ‘controversial’ thing I like to do is explore ‘non-traditional’ relationships. I’ve written stories and poems with gender fluid, non-binary, bisexual, and gay characters. I would never make assumptions about someone’s lived perspective from the LGBTQIA+ community, but I do believe that love is love–so if a character comes to me who does belong to this community, then I’m happy to write them and explore what that means in their own narrative. Likewise, I am a white woman from a privileged background, and I could never presume to know what members of the BIPOC community experience around the world. But I try to be an ally against racism and stereotyping, and aim to write diversely in my books so that people of all backgrounds feel welcomed and represented in the worlds I am creating.

My hope is that most of you reading this think, ‘Controversial? What’s controversial about that?’

Every word we write as authors is a risk. A risk that it will be the ‘wrong’ one. That no one will like it, or–worse–actively dislike it.

But we can’t let that stop us. Explore your creativity. Let those words fly. Taking risks is how we learn.

Quote by Sue Grafton: 'I focus on the writing and let the rest of the process take care of itself. I've learned to trust my own instincts and I've also learned to take risks.' Background of a mountain scene. Quote by 'quotefancy'

The IWSG Blog Hop

Click here to view the list of IWSG bloggers and check out what everyone else is saying this month.

What about yourself? Are you a risk-taker in writing – or reading? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Taking Risks (IWSG April)

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