Quote of the Day: Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else. Gloria Steinem

Today is 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. You can also visit the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for more info and links.

I’m one of the co-hosts this month. That means I’ll be visiting a few extra blogs and offering up support and encouragement. Thanks for stopping by here to read my post and say hello! The other co-hosts are: Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, and Madeline Mora-Summonte.

Question of the Month: 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?

First of all, it’s impossible to write something completely new and original. You can tell it in your own unique way, create characters we’ve never met before, and give it your own spin, but the story won’t be completely new. You need to read to be a good writer. You build vocabulary and absorb sentence structure and style. You get a sense for how a story plays out. I do think, though, that you can, and maybe should, take a break from reading to form your own thoughts. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, has a 12-step program detailed in her book to get over blocks and become an authentic writer/creator. Step four is “Reading Deprivation.” You’re not supposed to read anything for a week. I tried it, and it was hard. Reading is my go to relaxation. I read every day. I’m not always immersed in a novel, but give me five minutes, and I will be. I even took the exercise to the extreme and tried not to read anything, menus, directions, signs, which made me think about how hard it would be to navigate life if you couldn’t read. When I finally picked up a book again, something by Maya Angelou, it was like being given a drink of water or opening a window to let in fresh air and sunshine. It also gave my brain space to create its own stories.

I need to create more space to write the stories that swirl around in my brain. Maybe it’s time for a little reading deprivation, or letting something go.

I’ve been invited to speak at an event on leadership, women, and courage. At first, I asked, why did you pick me? Then, I embraced it. Someone thinks I have something to say on those subjects. Now, I need to be brave and deliver. 

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What life experiences have made you stronger and braver? Ever tried reading deprivation?