Wednesday, June 7, 2023

In June the IWSG asks what I would replace writing with were I to stop.

Hello my fellow writers and readers out there. The year is almost half over, and we're almost to that time of year when people will start seeing that midsummer "Christmas in July" thing pop up in various ways, which has always been weird to me. I'm also going to try something I've never tried before this June: I'm going to sing some karaoke with friends. I don't know how that will turn out, but I'll keep you posted. New experiences are always fun, even if they end up being personally embarrassing. But being the first Wednesday in June, it is also time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you are interested in signing up, please go HERE now. In the sentences below, I'll explain just what it is that you are signing up for.

What is the purpose of the IWSG?: 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.

When do we post for the IWSG?: Good question. The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. This is when you post your thoughts on your own blog, or talk about your doubts and fears you have conquered. People oftentimes discuss their struggles and triumphs. It's also a place to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. One of the things that makes your participation really valuable is to visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writers. The official advice is to aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting and be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. Finally, please make sure your avatar links back to your blog. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back, which kinda defeats the whole purpose of it all.

That being said, let’s rock the neurotic writing world.

The official Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG (I suppose people do still use Twitter).

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are Patrcia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine!

Every month, the IWSG announces a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. If you go this route with your post, they want you to include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Here is the June 7th question, which I'm opting to answer this month:

If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?

I probably wouldn't stop writing. I'm middle-aged right now, and snowboarding or other such activites are things my body would never be able to handle. It's hard enough to motivate me to lift weights once a week (which I do on Wednesday evenings with my brother). So...what to replace it with? Here are the contenders that pop in my mind: watching lots of shows and reading a lot of books. But I already do that, so I don't think that counts as a replacement, even if the entertainments today are better than I've ever had access to in my previous years. I could play more D&D and roleplaying games that I enjoy. But when I consider this, I think I have my fill already of what I get in a week's time. I don't think more is the solution, as I think I would get tired of putting up with people if I were to increase the frequency of my interactions.

Americans are pretty difficult to get along with these days. Everyone has very strong opinions and shouts you down or just clams up nervously, everyone I run into wants you to listen to them while they go on and on, and a lot of them (honestly) are really entitled and think it is abuse if you don't offer them the best of things. No one knows how much things cost. So, if chairs get broken, they assume that the chair was $50 and not $800, and it's because those people never entertain. In fact, it takes a lot to hang out with someone much less a bunch of someones. You've got to acquiesce that they are going to dirty up your bathrooms, bring food and drop it all over the floor that you will need to clean up, and pretty much demand extra things of your hospitality before leaving. I don't mind doing it once a week, but I've discovered that Americans coming over to your house usually entails several hours of cleanup no matter what the activity. Also interacting with more Americans just makes them add you to their phone and social media lists and then later they send you a GoFundMe so that they can squeeze money out of you (or attempt to). This happens a lot in my social groups. We added one person to Discord (a chat server) and suddenly they wanted to post a GoFundMe for their friend's bottom surgery (transition from man to woman). It just got awkward, and we had to tell them "no." Another sent a "GoFundMe" for their college tuition when they are also going to Italy in the summer with their real friends. I wasn't invited to that...just invited to pay the tuition. Americans assume that "friend" means "no boundaries" until you start setting them, and then you actually lose that "friend" because they feel "put off" by your negative toxicity. At least that's my experience. So...long story short...I probably wouldn't want to do more D&D or socialize with people more (maybe this is why there's an epidemic of loneliness in the country). 

So...what would I do? I don't have a satisfactory answer. Would I draw more? Not really. Anything that I want to draw now I just go onto Midjourney and have it create the picture (Midjourney is an A.I. on Discord that draws stunning photos). Would I travel more? I can't afford that, although I may be able to afford a vacation to someplace once a year in the near future. I think writing is here to stay (honestly) even if it is only blog posts and other types of stories that I feel no need to publish or talk about. If anything...maybe I'd read more. But I already read quite a bit. Shrug. Sorry, I can't answer the question with any clarity. However, I hope you at least had an entertaining read.


  1. He immediately posted a Go Fund Me? How rude.
    Yes, guests are messy. Our D&D gang requires more cleanup after than before.

  2. Honestly I thought you'd stopped writing years ago so the answer would be whatever you're doing now to pass the time. But if you are still writing, then good for you. The sheer number of toxic people you seem to run into makes me glad sometimes that I'm not a social person.

    1. @PT: Do I run into a lot of toxic people? I'd say they are just average people. "People in general" are toxic these days. Like...I'm saying everyone is. You can build up a little tolerance like that guy in "The Princess Bride" by getting some exposure to the poison that is people. You do this BY socializing. So, I'd actually recommend it until you can't stand it anymore. for the question as to why people are so terrible in 2023? I got no answers. But we all hate each other, and you know I'm not wrong about this. And it's getting worse. It's also not the news media that is doing it. That's a deflection. It's something else...maybe a number of awful things.

    2. I wanted to argue people are good but then I remembered there are non-diabetic people getting diabetic drugs people like me need to live just so they can lose a few pounds.

  3. Um, I'm having a bad time commenting today. Halfway through posting, I stopped to stretch and everything disappeared! I'm blaming that middle age thing too. ;)

    Anyway, I was trying to say how much I loved and related to your paragraph on being social. I used to like hosting parties, but now I can't handle the drama. And I really don't need to be invited to multiple online Pampered Chef or nail wrap parties.

    I was in a bad mood when I wrote my post, but here's the link to it.

  4. With such an experience, I wouldn't stop writing either.

  5. Yikes, the people around you suck.