Reader Responses (IWSG May)

It’s the Return of the 5th! Um, yes, well. Still recovering from my Star Wars geek-out yesterday (May the 4th be with you), today I bring the monthly offering from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Insecure Writer's Support Group logo with name and a lighthouse behind; in sepia

The IWSG, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, is designed “…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!”

So let’s rock the neurotic writing world.

The awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, PJ ColandoTonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

This month, we are asking the following question:

Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?

I am constantly surprised when readers like my writing. I guess that’s the mark of an insecure writer!

Every critique, positive feedback, negative feedback: I treasure them all. I love connecting with readers, hearing how a piece has moved them — or otherwise. Hearing what someone takes from something I’ve written (and how sometimes that’s completely not what I meant) is always fun, too. Then I simply nod, as if to say, “Yes, that was my intention all along.”

Has that ever happened to you?

Do you still get surprised when someone says they enjoy reading your work?

Let me know in the comments!

PS: The Annual IWSG Anthology is out! Dark Matter: Artificial is available now at all good retailers (here’s the Amazon link). You may recall that I sent off a story for this anthology last year. Alas, it did not make the cut — but some fantastic stories from our writing community did! I highly recommend you check them out.

PPS: In my own news, my first ever short story publication came out this week, at AntipodeanSF — Australia’s longest-running online speculative fiction magazine, with editor Ion Newcombe behind the wheel. Ion was also a judge for the aforementioned anthology. Small world, spec fic!

dog wearing glasses on a white bedspread bed, open book beside them
A discerned reader. Photo by Samson Katt on

Do check out what other IWSG members have said in response to this month’s question. Click here to visit our blog hop. Happy reading!

13 thoughts on “Reader Responses (IWSG May)

  1. “Yes, that was my intention all along.”

    I love it when that sort of situation happens. It’s always interesting to see how our work is interpreted by readers.

    And congrats on your first ever short story publication!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with Pat G. When someone tells me they’ve read one of my books I’m like, “Really? Thank you!” Happy IWSG Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the publication.
    Feedback is a great thing.
    I wonder if there’s a moment an insecure writer can become a secure one? Like receiving positive reviews from 100,000 readers. Or being on the NYT best seller list for five weeks. I wonder what it would take for each person?

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


  4. I know Ion’s publication well – congratulations!
    Yes, I’ve had readers interpret things that were nowhere near what I meant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alex! Reader and writer disagreement has always happened, but I do wonder what eg Shakespeare would think of some of our ‘interpretations’ these days… 😀


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