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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

IWSG October 2020 You Matter to Me


Welcome readers, writers, authors, and bloggers!

It’s Recovering Coffee (caffeine) Addict Month. Good luck, everybody. I refuse to recover ;-) In fact, in honor of National Coffee with a Cop Day, I may just haunt a couple of coffee shops later on. And here’s a new one (on me, anyway): today is the 11th annual National You Matter to Me Day…because everyone matters to someone.  I feel like I need to make a few phone calls today ;-)

For the tenth time this year it’s the First Wednesday of the month when we celebrate IWSG Day, in the form of a blog hop featuring all of the members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Founded by Alex Cavanaugh and fostered by like-minded associates, IWSG is a place to share the awesome views and exciting news that occurs along our fascinating writing journeys. Pull up a chair and join us!

Our awesome co-hosts for the October 7 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!


Optional question:  When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

Working Writer” implies the writer is employed, and therefore getting paid for his/her creativity. I can’t think of a better job than that, and it’s a safe bet it’s the crux of every writer’s aspirations. To call writing a hobby is, frankly, insulting.  And, while not every writer needs to be paid in order to eat, every writer does write in order to breathe. It’s natural. If you’re nodding as you read this, you know it’s true ; - )

This was a good question, though I’ve never met a writer who hasn’t already answered it. If only to themselves. At that point, you might also be asking yourself WHY you write. The following is an excerpt from an essay that won first place:

“On the message side of a postcard from Paradise, my missive could not be simply “Wish you were here”, for my propensity for description too often exceeds the boundaries of confined space.

              I find that writing facilitates definition, and provides an unobstructed avenue for communicating thoughts, sharing dreams, and imparting knowledge. To describe the cacophony of tangible senses after a southwest summer rain to the extent that the reader can almost feel the electric humid air, smell the musky scent of creosote or hear residual raindrops plopping on wet earth is to capture the reader’s complete attention - and a compelling reason to write.””

I almost didn’t submit that essay; insecurities and all. But honestly, what scares me more than writing is the thought of not writing. How about you?

If all goes well, the remainder of this year will be challenging, as well as incredibly productive, since I’ve agreed to write 46 short stories by Christmas. What are your plans for the rest of this year?

In the meantime, have you been binging on scary movies? Which one scares you the most?

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!





  1. Hi, diedre!

    Happy Recovering Coffee Addict Month and National You Matter to Me Day, dear friend!

    I totally agree that calling writing (or blogging) a hobby is insulting. "Passion" or "calling" are better word choices. That excerpt from your prize winning essay reminds me how great you are as a writer and the extent to which your word crafting massages my mind.

    Yessum, I have been binging on scary movies, but I do that all year round, not just at Halloween. A really cool film I watched recently, and one that is getting a good amount of buzz, is entitled 1BR starring up-and-coming actress Nicole Brydon Bloom.

    46 short stories by Christmas? Go for it, diedre. Meantime, I wish you a safe, happy and productive October, dear friend!

    1. Hi Shady!

      "Not just at Halloween," Ha! Come to think of it, I guess I do the same whenever possible.
      1BR sounds chilling! After countless watches, "Signs" (Mel Gibson, Juaquin Phoenix) still has me jumping at the rattle of a doorknob ; -)
      I actually love writing short stories. The challenge for me is keeping them short.
      Thanks so much for coming by and chiming in. See you at your place soon!

  2. I definitely will not recover from a coffee addiction either. I don't think you have to make money at writing to be a working one either.

    1. Hi Natalie!

      I feel as if we just had coffee together!
      I totally agree.

      Happy October!

  3. Forty-six? Wow!
    I wish I wrote as good as you did in that essay.

    1. Howdy, Captain!

      I figure two, maybe three shorts a day ought to do it ;-)

      Coming from an esteemed mentor such as you, that's quite a compliment, sir. Thank you.

  4. I agree. The thought of not writing is scarier than writing. Maybe that's a writer's horror story ...
    I like my caffeine, too, but I have to be careful with it.
    Happy writing in October!

    1. Hi Tyrean!

      "Writer's horror story," - ha! You are so right ;-)

  5. I don't think it's so bad to consider writing to be a hobby. When I've immersed myself in "hobbies" in the past I really put a lot of work into some of them, but they were not like a vocation since I put so much money, labor, and love into them. Generally writing can be free, but I guess I've spent a lot on writing just in writing books and publications alone.

    My wife and I might start watching some scary movies this month. Generally she doesn't care for them that much. Right now I've got Cat People high on my list of films I've recorded from TCM--might watch that if I can persuade her to see it.

    One of the scariest films in my opinion is the original George Romero Night of the Living Dead. Those low budget films can be far scarier than some of the big budget effects laden films.

    46 short stories sounds like an incredible undertaking. I wish you well on that venture. I'd just like to finish at least a few more of the songs I've started. I've got a lot floating around, but most have not been completed. I've gotten very lazy of late.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee!

      Having posted this a few days ago, my grandson has since reminded me that while he could play video games dawn to dusk, it is still just his favorite hobby, not a job. Hmmm. Good to know he's not obsessed, I guess ;-)

      "Cat People" is on my list too! We'll have to exchange opinions.

      What makes short stories so easy for me to write are the prompts. I doubt I could do it otherwise. At least, not within the current timeline.

      Sure would love to see/hear those songs, my friend ;-)

  6. Good luck with your stories! I'm focusing on the marketing aspect of the business for the rest of the year.

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day Revamp Your Backlist

    1. Hi Ronel!

      And good luck to you as well! from what I've seen, you're very good at marketing. Not one of my strong points, I'm afraid.

      Happy October!

  7. I found myself nodding as I read your post for not writing is way more scary to me than writing . . . even on those days the words don't come easily. And writing 45 stories before Christmas! Formidable. I wish you every success. You are definitely a 'working' writer!

    1. Thanks, Beth ;-) I actually welcome the challenge as times being what they are, writing is a form of therapy, a way of writing out while writing through...the darkness.
      Happy October!

  8. I'm late (as usual) but I'm here (as usual).

    Howdy, dIEDRE! ~

    What's phunny is that as I was reading that excellent essay excerpt, I was thinking to myself: This sounds a lot like dIEDRE's style!

    I didn't realize that you WERE the writer until I got to the sentence "I almost didn't submit that essay; insecurities and all."

    Congratulations on the win! It's not at all difficult to understand why you won first place.

    46 stories by Christmas?!?! Hokey-Smoke! I couldn't even imagine trying to write 46 short stories by... death (presumably not occurring any time too soon).

    Scariest movie? Well, I'm not really a big fan of the Horror genre. But one that I genuinely love, because it's more cerebral Horror than "chainsaw Horror", is 'JACOB'S LADDER'. That's one of my Top 25 favorite movies of all time!

    So... what's YOUR favorite scary movie?

    ~ Stephen
    (aka D-FensDogG)

    1. Howdy, Stephen T!

      Now I'm gonna have to watch "Jacob's Ladder" ;-)

      "Signs" starring Mel Gibson is a movie that is not often far from my thoughts. The protag (a Preacher) has to rethink everything he thought he knew about life, and the universe in general. I used to think crop circles were fascinating. Now I'm not so sure.
      Happy Halloween!

    2. dIEDRE ~

      Oh, I actually did see 'SIGNS', not too long after it was released. I remember because it was directed by the same guy who made 'The Sixth Sense'. I think I went into the movie expecting too much (i.e., expecting another wowsome[!] twist ending that would blow me away).

      I should probably see the movie again, now that I don't have any unreasonable expectations and now that I have mostly forgotten what happens.

      I DO believe that some crop circles are "not of this world", and I do believe that the real ones are connected to UFO activity, and I do believe that most UFO activity is demonic in nature, so... yeah, I really SHOULD watch that movie again.

      If you really are going to watch 'JACOB'S LADDER', please don't read anything about it beforehand or let anyone tell you anything about it in advance. Try to go into it with as little knowledge about it as possible. And just go with the flow of the film - don't let the fact that you don't understand ANYTHING that's happening bother you. As the viewer, you're meant to be just as confused as is the main character, and that's part of the ingeniousness of the story!!

      Be forewarned, it is creepy as hell, and gruesome in parts, and really, Really, REALLY unnerving. But it's a FANTASTIC movie, IMO. As I said before, it's definitely one of my all-time Top 25 Favorite Films.

      In the 'CREEPY' category, I would also put the "original" 'WICKER MAN' as a favorite. The remake was absolutely atrocious! Hopefully you never saw it. But the original version from 1973 has a Creep-factor that will stick with you for the rest of your life!

      Happy Hauntings!!
      ~ Stephen
      (aka D-FensDogG)

    3. Ooh, Sixth Sense was intense! I once recommended a young 'friend' not watch it for a couple of years. She watched it anyway and slept with the lights a-blazing from then on ;-)

      Thanks for insight on Jacob's Ladder.

      The original Wicker Man does sound intriguing. Scaring or unnerving folks without screams and gore is becoming a lost art, more's the pity. I like a good toe-curler ;-)

      I put the black roses on display last week and am now officially ready to haunt any one who makes it past the snake skins.

      Enjoy the blue moon!


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