During the years I’ve been writing on the internet, I’ve met some inspiring and engaging women at various stages of their lives. One of those is Bella, who tells her story through words and amazing photography. It’s been a privilege to watch her creative and personal life grow and develop, and also to see the great love and care she has for her family and home. So, this Writing Process Blog Tour: Last week Bella invited me to participate. Yes, I thought. We writers, don’t we love to talk about our “process,” as if it were a tangible thing we could get hold of and manipulate. Don’t we love to spend time thinking about writing, planning for it, saying “if only” about all the things we want to do with it.
But it was harder than I imagined. Apparently, I take my writing process for granted. I just do it. These questions being asked - why do I write what I do, how does my writing differ from others of my genre - they nudge me to consider this thing I do in another light, turn it around like a globe to expose a normally dark side.
Here is what I uncovered...
♥ What am I currently working on? Ongoing writing entails updating my blog twice weekly, and writing several regular columns for All Things Girl magazine. After seven years of writing a blog, I decided to compile a small book of posts representative of my Life In General during that time. I’ve been sifting through over 400 posts, categorizing and culling. Doing a lot of remembering, smiling at my silly self, crying about losses recalled afresh. I will be self-publishing the book and my goal is to have it ready by Christmas. Next week I'm starting Christine Mason Miller's e-course called The Conscious Booksmith, which is designed to facilitate creating a book while in the midst of daily living. Oh, do I need that help.
♥ Why do I write what I do? For many years the subtitle of my blog was “reflections on life in general and my own in particular.” My life is not “exciting," I don’t make public policy or create great works of art. I simply live every moment to the best of my ability, hoping to connect with other people through my words as well as my actions. The stories I tell about my life are probably very much like the stories you live in yours. In my telling, and your reading, I hope we’ll share a connection that enlightens and enriches our journey.
♥ How does my work differ from others of its genre? I don’t know that it does differ so much from other “lifestyle” writing, and maybe I don’t want it to. I feel as if I’m part of a large collective of writers I greatly admire who are sharing their personal perspectives, using words to make sense of their journey through life. The internet gives us a marvelous platform for doing that. Although we each have our unique viewpoints and writing styles, our mission is similar- to connect and inform other through sharing life stories and experiences.
♥ How does my writing process work? I’d love to tell you that I have a set writing schedule to which I adhere religiously, that I get up at 5 am every day and write prolifically for several hours. But I’d be lying. I do write something every day, even if it’s three pages of stream-of-consciousness journal writing first thing in the morning. These “morning pages” are critical in helping me think through life situations as well as inspire ideas for later writing projects. I write best in the morning, so whenever I can set aside an hour or two between 9-11 am, I use that time for new writing projects. Ideas come to me willy nilly, mostly when I’m reading, walking, and (unfortunately!) driving. I’m experimenting with an index card system for writing down quotes and ideas that inspire me and might be useful in writing later on.
To continue this Writing Process discussion, participants are asked to invite three others whose writing they admire, so I’m issuing the invitation to Joan Z. Rough, Melissa Sarno, and Rachel Kain - and to any of the other awesome writer friends out there who would like to add their voice to the conversation!