When my writerly friend Kristin (of Two Cannoli)
asked me to join in a blog tour which asks participants about their writing process, my initial reaction to her question was to suck in my breath and bite my lip. Contort my face. Oh, I wasn’t certain. Flattered! But really unsure. Did I even qualify for this blog tour? My writing is very sparse lately and Kristin’s writing is stunning.
Perhaps you’ve seen her work around the internet? Like one of her popular joint HuffPost pieces with Alexandra Rosas What Will I Know?
Yeah. Kristin knows her stuff. But then, as per usual, my second thought was eh, what the hell
which is actually not a bad backup thought to have. No, cringe, withdraw. And then– Yes, smile, push forward. Plus, I do so love me some self-discovery. Joining this blog tour sounded like a great opportunity to talk about craft
and maybe I’d learn something from the act? I said what the hell. And what the hell here we go.
1. What am I working on?
This is easy. Not a thing. Other than the occasional personal blog post, I’ve put on my oven mitts, picked up the roiling freelancing pot there on the stove, and gently placed it on the proverbial back burner. There are no current writing projects or big ideas in queue. And quite honestly, I’m loving having no commitments there. Write when I want to write. Blog when I want to blog. The end. For now.
Most of my steam these days is concentrated on self-preservation–with 4 children to wrangle, a household to run, a new house (to oversee) being built, and being 36+ weeks pregnant–my tank is often hovering just above E. Also I guess you could say I’m nesting. Here at our rental homestead we’re getting the birth space together for Cupcake. Homebirth kit is organized. The birth pool should be arriving this week. I have one more photo shoot on the books before Cuppie’s birthday. In the interim, the most important thing is to prepare my mind, body and spirit for childbirth and welcoming a new person to the planet in the most gentle, loving way I know how.
I’m really enjoying doing less than my norm, taking pics of my own children, and reflecting on our final days as a family of six before we become seven. Holy crap SEVEN.
2. How does my writing differ from others of its genre?
You know, I have no idea if my writing really does differ from others of its genre. I like to think I mix heart with humor and sometimes polish what I find to be a gem–rather than the usual ordinary stone (though I love those ordinary stones too)–but that could be wishful thinking. Anyway, isn’t that what many others do as well? It doesn’t matter to me so much how my writing differs, only that it remains true to ME. I think the best writing is authentic writing. I’m most concerned with mastering my own voice. And that’s a constant quest for any writer. Because voice changes. I’d like to walk beside my voice rather than constantly chase after it.
My writing is definitely heavily influenced by my photography. It’s often hard to say which comes first, the idea for a post or the picture I’m including in the post. I don’t even bother posting unless I’ve got a picture to share too. (Did you notice the random pictures I’m including in this one?) Can’t help it. I’m very visual. Need images paired with words. NEED. Need. They more than help me tell these stories.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I went to a Montessori preschool and Kindergarten. One of my earliest memories there was sitting with the smooth tile sets and tracing my finger over the sand-paper letters adhered to each. I traced A an B and C and so on and all the while I remember feeling happy as those letters scratched and tickled. As a child I wrote books and poems for relatives on their birthdays or as Christmas presents. I kept diaries, then journals because journals sounded way cooler when I was in high school. But it wasn’t until I became a mother in my mid-twenties when a stumbled upon a whole new well of feelings and thoughts and thingsIneededtosayandhaveheardbyothers.
I write what I write (my life) to remember. I write to know what I already know. I write to learn more. I write so that I don’t burst open at the seams.
4. How does my writing process work?
For better or worse, I love immediacy. I could blame the times, my iPhone, easy access to information and sharing. I could blame pop culture, society, or something. But I know it’s really me. I have to remind myself, force myself to slow it the EFF down. And I’m talking about in all aspects of my life, writing included.
I do a ton of writing in my head. Sometimes I actually see my thoughts as arranged in sentences and paragraphs, whether or not I’m technically “writing.” So know that when you’re reading a blog post, 99% of the time I’ve JUST cranked it out moments before I hit publish. Sure, I’ve read it ten to twenty times through and edited as I went along, but as far as having lots of posts in the draft stage? Uh uh. No. That’s not my style. Goes back to immediacy I think. Also why I must write–so what’s inside of me doesn’t shrivel up and croak.
I had a poetry professor in college who once told us that poetry was the highest art form of all, but especially tops in the writing world. Of course he thought that; he was A POET for crying out loud, and I mighty pompous one at that. But every word, he said, every punctuation mark, every line break, every letter, every positive or negative space–mattered. Mattered so much–that your message, the power and the glory and all of creation basically depended upon it. So we should choose wisely. Craft consciously. Be deliberate, bold, as brief as we must. Every time I write–I let that thought be my overarching guide.
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Part of the blog hop is asking two more writers to answer these questions. First I thought of a blog bud, Jennifer P. Williams, and was thrilled when she said sure thing. I love Jennifer’s down-home style. She has an easy way with words and her stories are always sprinkled with wisdom. That’s how I think of Jennifer–just wise. In fact she offers a series on her blog called Advise This.
If you’ve got a question, problem, or some situation wherein you need a little guidance, she’s your woman. You’ll feel her genuineness down in your bones.
Next I thought of Angela Youngblood of Jumping With My Fingers Crossed. I began reading Angela’s blog back when I co-hosted a weekly linkup called #ippp with my friend Greta. Fast forward to present and now Angela is one of the co-hosts for that linky! As a fellow mama of four I immediately felt a kinship with her and her brood, but more so the reason I keep going back to her blog– she makes me feel happy. Angela is a bright light. She knows how to have fun and see the good. She doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and still you can’t help but smile your way through her posts. And her vlogs. She is funny.
Be sure to check out Jennifer’s and Angela’s responses to these questions! They’ll be posting their answers later this week. Viva the tour!