Surprise, Surprise: An IWSG Post

Good day, my writing/blogging friends.

We’re at the first Wednesday of August. Seems like the summer is going so fast. My kids started school this week. It would have been nice if we had one more week to prepare. It is what it is.

Anyway, it’s time for the month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. It’s where we share our experiences of the writing world to encourage other writers. If you’re so inclined, check out this month’s co-hosts on the IWSG website. Click here to learn more about them, the group, and how to join the group.

So this month, I’m answering the optional question:

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

I like surprises, but not all the time. I think it’s because I’m expecting the worst. That’s the narrative I seek to follow more times than necessary. I need to change the mindset that all surprises are bad. This is certainly the case in my writing world. I’m not always a fan of what I write. Ninety percent of the time, I leave it behind and chalk it up to a project I have no intention of finishing. But there are moments when I complete a project, but still am not happy with the results. If that’s the case, then why submit it to critique partners? Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I expecting a flogging for the dribble I produced?

I hate that kind of thinking. It’s debilitating. I’m “surprised” that I finish a story and send it to critique partners. But this is why I need to change my way of thinking. Realistically, not everything I write is going to be perfect. There’s no surprise there. I recently submitted some scenes for others to read. I get constructive feedback on them.

However, there are moments where my stories have taken me by surprise. A recent example is a flash fiction story I wrote on a whim. I entered at the last minute and took an hour to write. I didn’t take the time to polish it. In hindsight, I should have. Anyway, a few days later, I found out I won. A story I had no real intention of writing, let alone entering, won.

A more prevalent example is when I submitted a poem and short story to a college literary magazine years ago. There was a possibility, but I didn’t think my works would make the cut. But when I got the latest issue, there they were in the table of contents. Shock and awe commenced.

I look back on all the stories I’ve written and am surprised I wrote them. At the same time, I shouldn’t be surprised that I have so many stories under my belt. Nor be surprised that those who’ve read my stories like them. A lot has changed since my college days. I believe I’ve made a lot of progress in my writing skills. I still have my critics and I can improve on certain skills. I suppose the real surprise is that I’m still struggling with confidence because I’m not entering more contests. But I’m working on it to where it’s not a surprise anymore.

What about you? How has your writing surprised you? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

One thought on “Surprise, Surprise: An IWSG Post

  1. I think it’s good to get surprises and I think it’s good to think of them positively. A rejection isn’t usually a surprise. I’m often surprised by the direction my writing takes. That’s the fun of it!

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