Writing Process Blog Tour

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I was tagged in a fun blog game by one Margaret LaFleur, my writing soul mate on the wonderful terrible journey of pen to paper. It is super rare for me to be included in a blog tag game and this is about writing process, which was a topic several people asked for more on, so here we are!

1.) What are you working on?

I am working on a lot of freelance projects that happen not on this bog and fun pseudo-sponsored stuff that does happen on this blog. I am also working on collecting a cornucopia of ideas for creative projects. I am also writing/editing for a large company every day between the hours of 8:30am and 5:30pm. And I am working on finding the mental space and time to make it all happen. I think I will be adopting my own “writing seasons” so that I can be productive without feeling like I’m losing my mind. Or that my life is spiraling out of control, which sometimes feels like my reality currently.

2.) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Oh my god. Um. Ok… first, I guess with freelance/non-fiction/business (minus the actual writing I do at work) I try and center everything around story. I don’t want to talk about a product unless I have a story to share. I don’t want to talk about something just to talk about it, I want it to have some sort of meaning to my life that I can convey to others. With fiction and creative stuff I would like to think I have a unique voice. I attempt to make the mundane interesting. I enjoy writing about ideas or people who are normal except not. On the right path except the path is a little twisted, stuff like that. I don’t know if that’s unique, but I hope i give it some sort of special seasoning.

3.) Why do you write what you write?

It’s how I communicate best. It’s what I’m good at. Professionally I enjoy the challenge, regardless of topic, and I think I’m better at it than the average bear. Fiction-wise, I used to feel compelled. Now it feels like something I SHOULD be doing, and I have a lot of guilt and self-shaming surrounding it. Which I don’t find productive. With non-fiction I do feel compelled right now. When I don’t write for a little bit often an idea will nag at me, nag at me, nag at me, until I can put it down. Either a train of thought or a concept I can’t shake, or a memory that won’t let me go. And I really have to write it. I just have to. When that happens it is usually some of my best work.

I think I’m supposed to tag 3 people, but the Margaret stole one of the people I was going to tag (Laura)!! And a lot of the writers I know don’t have blogs OR I don’t know them (really) and they are famous and I am too shy to ask them to play this game with me.

So I am tagging just 1 person. The lovely Kristin who writes at Not Intent on Arriving. She writes about travel, her daily adventures, her small moments, etc. She is also a poet and lives in New York. I wish she lived closer to me because when we did meet in San Francisco, just for a brief lunch, I felt super connected to her and that we could be writer buddies 4 life. She is just the loveliest person.

If you are a writer and also have a blog and read this blog, please let me know! Because I don’t know! And I want to know!

And if you would like to play the game and answer these questions – even if you are not a writer, maybe you take pictures or paint or do some other cool stuff that I do not do but wish I did – please feel free to answer them in comments. I love people’s processes. Understand how we are all the same and yet different at the exact same time is really magical.

9 thoughts on “Writing Process Blog Tour”

  1. I definitely agree that you do a great job making the “mundane” interesting — although I might say, making the “everyday” interesting. Because really — most of life is the little things that go by unnoticed. You do an excellent job bringing them to the forefront and showing them in an interesting light.

    “Now it feels like something I SHOULD be doing, and I have a lot of guilt and self-shaming surrounding it. Which I donโ€™t find productive. ”

    Ugh, yeah that self-shaming spiral is a) hard to avoid, and b) never productive. I was reading some tweets by author Delilah Dawson the other day, and she was talking about how every writer goes through “cycles” where you’re creating/producing like crazy, and then down times where you’re just recharging and not writing. And that you shouldn’t feel guilty about the down time, because hey, it is what it is, just embrace it. Which definitely struck a chord with me, because I think creative types DO get burnt out from time to time. (Although then part of me worries that I’ll forever be like “Oh yes, I’m just in my down time, I’m recharging” and never actually get work done….)

    PS Don’t worry, I don’t know that I’ll have 3 folk to tag either ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I felt ok with my cycles, especially right after grad school. I needed some time to live and experience and now I feel like “ok! you have lived some! When does the writing come back?” but I have faith it is there. I have to give myself more credit for the daily writing I do. Sigh. It’s hard.

  2. I’ll play!!

    1.) What are you working on?

    A few things: my dear little blog; freelance posts for other websites; and a novel that’s still in it’s so-ugly-I-could-cry first draft phase. This is the first time I’ve worked on a novel. The draft is about 2/3s written, and even though I’m learning a heck of a lot about writing as I go, I wish I knew it already and didn’t have to practice on this one. Poor beastie, it’s in such terrible shape, and I’m having trouble envisioning what it’ll be when it grows up. I took a break from my morning writing sessions, which were so excellent for my productivity, and I’ve gotta get back to them asap so I don’t lose the forward motion (might be too late, ugh). I also take photos and paint, all around the same themes I write about.

    2.) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

    I wouldn’t imagine I’m the only one who’s doing what I do, but I’ll take a stab at this. I primarily write about nature and how it intersects with and invades what we think of as human space through the lens of my own personal experience as an amateur naturalist. I approach nature from a positive, celebratory angle, which I think is a much-needed counter to the dire and dismal (but true) writing out there about the state of the environment. I avoid point-by-point species recounting and dry field trip reporting, which I find off-putting and dull. I try to write for non-naturalists, and people who are interested in, but overwhelmed by the outdoors and the dry language that naturalists use. I want to be an inviting and informative voice for amateurs and experienced nature-lovers alike.

    3.) Why do you write what you write?

    Ha, ok, looks like I covered that, in part, above. But here’s more: I’m just so, so excited about what I find when I go outdoors that I have to share it with people. And even better, I love when readers and friends tell me about what they’ve found and learned and done. When I started writing on my blog, I thought I’d be lucky if anybody read anything. I never dreamed that readers would become such a huge part of my community. It’s wonderful!

    And then, there’s this: the words and photos and paintings are my best attempt at showing everyone what I love about the world, in the hope that people will fall in love with the world around *them*, and that we’ll all work a little harder to save the things we love. It’s like a little flare I’m firing off into the internet, hoping to see others light up from where they stand.

    1. Erin! I think I forgot that you were writing a novel!!! I know of the daily paintings which I look forward to and that I think you have paused on?? (At least on insta?) Thank you so much for sharing and I would love to assist with editing etc whenever you are ready to rework a chunk or two of that endeavor. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Aww, so glad you like the paintings! The sketch-a-day ran its one-month course, and then I had to take a break from it, because I just had so many other things to get done in a day :-\ But I miiiiiissssss it, and I’m looking for a way to bring it back somehow.

    2. “The draft is about 2/3s written, and even though Iโ€™m learning a heck of a lot about writing as I go, I wish I knew it already and didnโ€™t have to practice on this one. ”

      Oh man, THIS! I totally know this feeling ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. I just about passed out to see myself tagged here! (Passed out with joy!) I’ll definitely write something up for next week!

    And I completely agree with you on telling stories about a product. It’s the thing that makes the most sense to me, as a writer and a consumer (both of written copy and of actual products). Stories help bring meaning to our lives, so if a product doesn’t have a story worth telling and living, then why are we buying it? (just something I’m thinking about a lot lately, as I look at the way I’m consuming.)

    <3

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