Wednesday, 10 November 2021

#WEP OCTOBER CHALLENGE #WINNER'S #GUESTPOST – ELEPHANT'S CHILD AND SELF-EXPOSURE #AMWRITING

Hello everyone! Renée here! 

Elephant's Child, the winner of the October Challenge The Scream, won with her story Un.... Her tagline: Sometimes no one will hear your scream.

 


As our judge, Nick Wilford said: "The rhythm really hammers home the oppressive feel and air of inevitability, but fortunately this is leavened by having a hopeful ending. Very thought provoking."

Today EC is addressing self-exposure. So take it away, Sue!


 SELF-EXPOSURE

I write occasionally. I read every day. I am much more comfortable describing myself as a reader than I am a writer.

What do I read? I refuse to be limited by genre or defined by target groups. Instead, I read for education, comfort, and escape – and am sometimes lucky enough to find them all in the same work.

While I am a greedy reader, I am not uncritical. Writing to strike a chord with me and find a home in my head and heart has to be authentic. Real for the moment (while I am reading), and/or honest for all time. This means that memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, and letters make regular appearances in my towering to be read lists. It does not mean that I avoid fiction. Neil Gaiman (one of my favorite authors) summed it up for me.

‘Fiction is the lie that tells the truth.

We all have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that society is huge, and the individual is less than nothing.

But the truth is individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.’

My latest WEP post was and is certainly real, an ongoing part of me that I rarely display. I was in at least two minds about submitting it, and having done so, felt exposed and vulnerable.

Not a comfortable place. So I thought about it. And thought some more.

That thinking brought me to a place where I realized that all writers expose themselves, or at least some of themselves, in every piece they create. As an aside, I do not think that art and the artist who created it can be separated. Each piece exposes their backgrounds, their personal values, their beliefs, their hopes, their dreams, and their fears. Some of it is conscious, and I suspect some of it isn’t. And by exposing themselves this way, they make themselves vulnerable. Vulnerable to being criticized, dismissed, or not understood.

Do my musings make sense to you? And do you agree?

Writers have long been my heroes, and I thank them for their courage and the gift of trust they bestow on their readers.

And I thank WEP, both the administrators and the contributors, for making this a safe place for writers to stretch their wings and to hopefully soar.

~~*~~

Our award-winning author, Elephant's Child is from Canberra, Australia

She says she is in the process of reinventing herself. Even though she keeps busy with gardening, reading, birds, blogging, and swimming.

You can learn a lot more on her blog. Just follow the link https://myjustsostory.blogspot.com/

Photo by: Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash


~~***~~

Thank you so much for your guest post, Sue. How about you, readers? How do you feel about self-exposure? How much of you, is in your writing?


We'd love for you to tweet this post or share it to Facebook or your favorite social media site.

#WEPTHESCREAM #WEPwinner #guestpost SELF-EXPOSURE https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2021/11/wep-october-challenge-winners-guestpost.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchalleng

#WEPTHESCREAM #WEPwinner Uh…. #guestpost SELF-EXPOSURE https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2021/11/wep-october-challenge-winners-guestpost.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

#WEPTHESCREAM #WEPwinner Uh… #guestpost Self-Exposure https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2021/11/wep-october-challenge-winners-guestpost.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

~~***~~

Our next challenge will be here before we know it! We hope many of you will consider joining us for our December challenge. Narcissus! We'll be posting early, anytime between December 1st and the 15th.



Thanks, Sue!

See you all there!





43 comments:

  1. Thank you, Sue! Your entry stirred very deep emotions, and your post validated my writing journey. And yes, I put all of me in my writing.

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    1. Yolande Renee: Thank you. Emotions are powerful beast aren't they?

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  2. We do put ourselves into our work, and sometimes i wonder if we don't hide parts of ourselves through our work, too.

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    1. messymimi: Of course we do, or try to. Just the same, honesty will always draw me in.

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  3. As I think you already know, I've struggled with how much of myself to expose on my blog, and the thing that pushed me into taking more chances with the hard stuff was realizing that a lot of what I've learned has been through the honest and vulnerable writing of other people, through both books and blogs. If I can help just one other person in their struggle, the way I've been helped, then I feel it's worth it. I don't write fiction so I don't know how much of myself I would expose through that kind of writing, but for non-fiction this is my answer.

    Mimi makes a good point, too - my answer to that is yes, I am selective about what I write and it has the effect of hiding parts of me.

    Interesting guest post, dear friend, and you have set me to thinking more about this. And thank you for the WEP post that you wrote that jump-started this conversation in the first place. I can imagine how much courage it took and I'm grateful that you shared it. You will likely never know if/when the person who needed to read it does so.

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    1. jenny_o: My blogger woes mean that at the moment I can only respond to comments one at a time - with long, long gaps. So apologies.
      Of course you/I/we hide pieces of ourselves. And the pieces we hide are telling in themselves. I sometimes think that the pieces of ourselves we hide are pieces that we are not comfortable with - for a whole range of reasons.
      And thank you - as always, sister across the seas.

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  4. I agree, we expose ourselves through our writing. Sometimes we are aware of it but I think some bloggers would be surprised about how much they reveal unintentionally.
    There are things I would like to write about but don't because I am protecting somebody but even then, what is not said might be revealing to a perceptive reader.

    Both great pieces of work, Sue

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  5. EC your story took my breath away. For many reasons. I feel the tug of your emotions having been there, I feel the enticement of the solution, never quite firm. Wavering.
    Thank you for sharing your inner.
    Powerful writing.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. No question that putting any piece of writing, fictional or otherwise, out into the world takes nerves of steel! To do so with the elegance and clarity that you have, is breath taking.

    You call yourself a reader rather than a writer, but you're a wonderful writer EC, a seeker and speaker of beauty and of truth. I always enjoy your contributions at WEP and on your blog. Thank you.

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  7. I hope this comment will go through - but doubt it. Blogger is not playing nicely today. If/when I can comment again I will answer your generous comments.

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  8. Congratulations, EC. You deserve your win. What you write here makes perfect sense and I agree with you, my dear.

    Love,
    Janie

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  9. You're right, Sue. For any piece of art, especially writing, to make an emotional impact, the artist must expose herself, bare her heart to the world. It doesn't matter if she writes romantic comedy or fantasy with dragons or historical horror, she has to be honest and open to her readers. Otherwise, her story would be false. And of course it is scary to be so open and so vulnerable.
    But when you force yourself into that scary place, open yourself up, the results are always amazing.
    Congratulations on your well-deserved victory.

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  10. Congratulation in winning - you truly deserve it. Hiding to reveal oneself or revealing to hide oneself is what the best writers excel at, as you did (forgive if this makes no sense, it does in my head right now). I was touched, moved and awed by your story and your courage.

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  11. Congratulations on winning - you have such a skill with words. That entry made me catch my breath and deserved to win. I agree that a good piece of writing will always expose something of the author and so it should, to connect with the reader.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: Thank you for your kind words. There were, as there always are, some spectacular entries. I really don't envy the judges.

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  12. You are most certainly a writer Sue, even if you prefer to call yourself a reader first. Thank you for trusting us with your story for The Scream.
    Revealing one's innermost self is one of the scariest parts of writing. Its a huge struggle.

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    1. Kalpana: Thank you. I suspect that we reveal some of ourselves even when we don't realise it. And yes, the times we do are terrifying.

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  13. You words always carry such impact, Sue!
    Putting ourselves out there with our words is terrifying and I wonder if I'll ever get used to it. Our world views and beliefs are our cores - and they show up in everything we write

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    1. Jemi Fraser: I am glad that you agree with me - and a little disturbed to realise that it doesn't get any easier.

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  14. Congratulations, Sue! Your writings always enthrall me and speak with such emotion, but I was unprepared for the honesty and bravery of your piece. I know it was not easy to commit those thoughts to paper and a "well done" hardly seems sufficient, but I sincerely thank you . You are extraordinary! Brava!

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    1. Anne in the kitchen: Thank you. It wasn't easy for either of us was it? Your comment (the very first one) on my WEP piece stunned me.

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  15. Reality is more powerful than fiction. And fiction can be a safe release of reality. Your story can affect someone emotionally; but, more importantly, let someone understand those voices for what they are. Thanks EC.

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    1. Ann Bennett: Those voices are very powerful, but I do hope that I showed at least one person that they are not alone.

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  16. Sue, my heart thumps every time I bring your piece back to mind. A true judgement of a piece of writing is how long it lingers. And your words linger for sure. A well-deserved win. Writing at times gives us nowhere to hide. I'm glad you shared this of yourself, but once out there, it becomes a story that others can find solace in.
    Thank you Sue. You're a wonderful writer. (And I'm sorry to see you're having trouble commenting.) Don't fret. People understand the vicissitudes of the internet. All in good time.

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    1. Denise Covey: Thank you so much. Your support, and that of the other administrators and participants keeps me pulling up my big girl pants. Commenting is still patchy and not a given, but I am on a roll at the moment.

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    2. Sue, I'm glad you're on a roll. Go girl!

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  17. Entirely agree with your musings, Sue, by adding that it is neither helpful nor honest to politely praise lousy written stories. But alas, when the stones are swimming the leaves will sink.
    As for omphaloskepsis and "self_exposing": The secret of boredom is to tell all. Not my words, Voltaire's.

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    1. Sean Jeating: Voltaire was being a bit too smart for me. I don't think that we ever know everything about anyone - including ourselves...

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  18. All who come by: If you want to read the email WEP just sent out regarding Elephant's Child's post and what's coming up, post this link in your browser:

    https://mailchi.mp/dfae558228f7/read-the-winners-guest-post-stuck-in-the-story-10942488

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  19. Congratulations! Your writing is powerful, the story raw. It carries an emotional impact that so many others can relate to - and maybe heal from - by reading that they are not alone. Isolation is a cruel taskmaster. Well done. You deserve the accolades.

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    1. River Fairchild: As always, many, many thanks. Loneliness/isolation are killers.

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  20. kylie: I often wonder just how much an attentive reader picks up (and possibly miscontrues).
    Wisewebwoman: Thank you.
    Nilanjana Bose: Thank you too. I am a beauty addict, and it is lovely to hear that you think I share it too. Truth is also important to me.
    Janie Junebug: There were, as there always are, some stunning entries to the challenge. I really am in awe of the work of those who create a short list and the judge.
    Olga Godim: Honesty and integrity are crucial I agree - and it is a very scary place. Thank you.

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  21. Wonderful EP...very honest, I loved reading this!! ♥

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  22. Congratulations! The award is well-deserved. As you know, I resonate with the emotions you expressed in your piece.
    The stories that contain the most pieces of me are the ones with oddball characters, particularly misunderstood monsters. I resonate with Lovecraft in that he believed himself to have a monstrous appearance. Perhaps this is why I am so drawn to his work.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you! Hope all is well!

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    2. Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte): I am not at all surprised that those are the characters that resonate with you. And thank you.

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  23. Hi Sue - your win was so deserved ... and hit home to me. Your reasoning to volunteer is very potent ... :

    "I suspect it is a part of the reason I volunteer on the crisis line. Their circumstances, triggers and solutions may not be mine, but the pain and the despair are so very familiar.

    If they can live it, I can listen. Some people at least do not go unHeard."

    So pleased Denise, Yolanda and the administrators recommended this extra post - for more of us to read ... thank you. We all need to consider others ...

    With thoughts - Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: Thank you so much. I was gobsmacked and flabberghasted (gobghasted and flabbersmacked) to win, but very, very grateful. We do indeed need to consider others and I try.

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  25. A well-deserved honour for you, EC. (And it's nice to learn your name is Sue.) :-)

    For years I thought fiction-writing was far too personally revealing and I swore I'd never do it... until one day I did. It makes us vulnerable, true; but it's also freeing when we realize that even though some will criticize and disapprove, many others will praise and support. You may never know who you've helped with your honesty; but believe me, the first time you get a letter from a reader saying that your stories saved them... that's worth more than anything.

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    1. Diane Henders: Thank you. I suspect that receiving a letter like that would make an author walk on air. Yet another reminder that as a reader we should reach out and say thank you.

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