A Peek Inside the Heart of a Writer
About a week and a half ago, I was emailing my blogging world friend NJ about contributing to my Spring Cleaning post. She asked if I would be interested in being tagged on a writer tour and sharing about my writing process. I can't describe how thrilled I was to be asked.
I'm right on the edge of this thinking of myself as a writer phase. I've been a writer in my heart for as long as I can remember. But I have always hesitated to actually say, out loud, "I am a writer." Then I started a blog. And I still didn't quite feel like I could call myself a writer. A blogger, but maybe not a writer. Then I had my work featured on BlogHer. And I felt like I was becoming a writer, but was still scared to say it. Then I was offered a syndicated post on BlogHer. I realized that I wrote something, and someone paid me for it, and other people read it. That kind of makes me a writer. And while you still might find me saying it quietly, and tentatively, I feel like I can finally say "I am a writer."
So here I am, sharing about my process of being a writer. And so very appreciative of the little boost to my confidence NJ gave me by asking me to share it. Make sure you visit NJ over at A Cookie Before Dinner, because her writing is amazing and I often find her touching those parts of my heart I didn't realized were there, or didn't know someone else had those places, as well. Here's my questions and answers about my writing process...
What am I working on?
Right now, I feel like I'm working on keeping my head above water. Trying to fit in working, and blogging, and mothering, and crazy schedules, and everything else life throws at me is a bit draining.
I'm working on blogging smarter, and more efficiently. I'm trying some new strategies to streamline some of the tasks of blogging. And I'm trying to stick to budgeting my time so I don't skip things that are important to me because I spent too long doing some of the things that aren't that important. Which means I am working on being less of a perfectionist and realizing some posts can be put together quickly, and promoted plainly, and that's ok.
I'm working on finding my niche, and my voice in the blogging world. I share a little bit of everything over at my blog, and sometimes wish I were more focused. I think I need to redefine why I am blogging again and go back to making sure every post relates to that purpose. If I can't tie it into my purpose, then not posting it. Even if that means losing out on some traffic and some views.
In a very indirect way, I am working on telling my story. I have a story to tell, and sometimes lines of it come to me. I'm not writing a draft, or putting it into posts, or actually writing it yet, but it is always there, forming under the surface. And I think all good stories can only be told in their own time. So I'm preparing for that time and making sure I'm ready when it gets here.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I struggled the most with this question. I have had to battle my urge to compare myself to other bloggers and other writers. And here I am being asked to do that. So immediately that self doubt crept in and I thought I wasn't different; I wasn't unique.
So as I came back to this question and left it and came back to it over and over again, I realized that while I may write the same content that many other bloggers write - helpful information about organizing, meal planning, structure for kids, and using social media in today's crazy landscape; heartfelt posts about being a mom, wife, daughter, and feeling comfortable in my own skin - I write everything I do from my heart. Which is unique. So while someone may relate to an idea here or a sentiment there, my heart is not exactly like any other one out there, so there are pockets and bits and pieces of my writing that are different from any other writing out there. Because it is me, just put into words.
Why do I write what I do?
I write, simply, because I can't not write. I think in writing. And sometimes not getting it down on paper or screen is tougher than writing it.
I write because I am an introvert, and deal with anxiety, especially the social variety. Writing gives me a place to say the things that I can't when I'm around people. I write what I do because I need to get it out of my head and I can't do that in a way other than writing. I write about worrying that I'm a good mom, and knowing that sometimes I'm not, and getting worried and stressed and frustrated by this role of mother. I write practical content because I love when I find posts that help me out and want to give that back, in a circle of giving and taking ideas.
I write because sometimes I don't know what I think until I write it.
[Tweet "I write, because I am a writer."]
How does my writing process work?
It's not very formalized, that's for sure! I have notebook I keep writing ideas in. And I always have paper and pen or pencil with me. I sometimes have lines come to me and I jot them down, and they turn into a post. I sometimes have a post idea, and I jot down the outline and fill it in here and there when I get a minute. I sometimes write in between doing other things during the day, I sometimes write in the pick up line at the school, I sometimes write while sitting at a baseball practice, I sometimes write while waiting for the water to boil for dinner, and I sometimes carve out time to sit and focus and write. It all depends on the day and the season and a million other factors. However, I almost always have a basic outline for any writing, which I then go back and fill in. I often edit as I write, going back and forth between writing and rereading and changing, and I sometimes get on a roll and then edit at the end.
And now, to pass the tour to the next stop. I would love for you to visit two amazing writers and lovely bloggers next Monday. The first is Jen at Drinking the Whole Bottle. Jen is living an amazing life as an expat in the Dominican Republic, and her writing often reminds me that even when you live a completely different life as someone else, there are still some things that can feel exactly the same. The other is Anneliese at Super Fresh Baby Pants. She says all the things I think in her writing, and I am convinced we are somehow related, in some far back in the ages way.