The Writing Process Blog Tour!

My sweet friend (and LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Boston co-producer) Cheryl of Busy Since Birth tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Tour and although I almost always hate being tagged—which is hilarious because my friend Kari from A Grace Full Life just tagged me for another meme just this morning and she’s probably going to read this and go, “GULP”—I’m going to do it anyway.

I also have to point out that I absolutely adore that Cheryl sent me a Facebook message BEFORE she tagged me, to ask my permission first because she knows that some people always hate being tagged. (Did I mention how much I hate being tagged?) That makes me laugh too because Kari totally did not ask my permission today and even though I never, ever expect people to ask for my permission before tagging me and the thing with Cheryl was just a weird and wonderful flukey thing, I know Kari is double-gulping right now. Don’t worry, Kari. Your meme is hysterical and fun and I’m looking forward to it. Also Kari, totally unrelated but I just thought of it now: you still owe me a hot chocolate from what, almost two years ago? Huh.

Anyway, so this Writing Process Blog Tour. This is where you’re going to see how my brain works when it comes to MY writing process. I hope we all learn something about me that we didn’t know before now. Let’s see, shall we?

What are you working on?
Currently I’m working on trying to get back into a regular blogging schedule and change things up a little bit around here. I’ve been putting some post ideas in draft and looking for pictures I’d like to write about, and I’ve been trying to come up with posts that can be written in less than thirty minutes but still be considered “interesting” or “entertaining”.

As far as non-blog writing goes, I actually started an essay over the weekend for next year’s LTYM show. I didn’t start it because I’m so organized or because I had an unusual desire to write it up a full seven months before our show to be “on top of things”. I started it because it came to me in the middle of the night and I knew that if I didn’t put forth some effort to capture it, it would be lost forever. (THAT’S how my brain works.)

Though I have written business articles for NAILPRO magazine since 2006-ish, I don’t have any assignments on the horizon at the moment. I’m very proud of the many articles I wrote for NAILPRO for lots of reasons but the main one is because I believe non-fiction, which is not necessarily the most fun genre to read and definitely not the most fun to write, is where I have more talent.

That’s all I’m working on (and not working on), writing-wise. I’ll save the non-writing work scoop for another post.

How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I guess I’ll answer this in relation to my blog writing. Even though I wrote about my kids much more when I started blogging in 2007 than I do now, I have never considered myself to be a “mom blogger” because this blog has always been a mixture of whatever topics I feel like writing about at any given moment. I put myself in the “life blogger” category and to answer the question about how my work differs from others, well, I can’t. I like to think that people who read this blog are getting the real me; I don’t think that anyone is surprised at what they find when they meet me in person because I am as authentic as I know how to be when I write. That said, I know I’m not the ONLY authentic blogger out there. So I guess my work differs from others just because I’m the one writing it. Wait, is that lame?

Why do you write what you do?
I started blogging not only to hold onto family memories but also for writing practice. For years and years I wanted to be a writer, but I never spent time writing! (Crazy, right??) I like that people with whom I may never have crossed paths in any other way have become acquainted with my family from afar, and I love being a part of the blogging community. I have gained more from blogging than I ever could have imagined possible and I’m talking about not only knowledge and practical skills but also so many relationships that mean so much to me. The frequency of my blogging may fluctuate wildly at times, but I’m not going anywhere. I can’t imagine NOT blogging.

How does your writing process work?
This is where it gets tricky because my process depends on how I envision my result.

When I think of a blog post idea, I put it in one of two categories:
A. “I want this post to be beautifully written and dazzle the masses”
B. “This is such a great story: I need to get it out NOW so people can read it! NOW!”

The process for category A is:
I. I obsess over the idea for hours, days, and even weeks.
II. I make notes in an actual notebook that contains actual paper. With a pen. No pencils.
III. When I finally start writing on the computer, I refer to my notes and cross things off as I include them.
IV. If the post isn’t turning out as good as it sounded in my head, I usually engage in some negative self-talk followed immediately by peppy, “Go go go, this is going to be awesome!” self talk because you know I can’t be negative for very long, even at myself.
V. I make about seventy-five to one hundred edits before I find the post suitable for other eyes.
VI. I hit publish and keep my fingers crossed that my readers respond to it.
VII. Regardless of the response, I am proud of the quality of my post and on occasion can’t even believe that I can write something so lovely.

The process for category B is:
I. I obsess over the idea for minutes.
II. I skip the notebook. THIS IS A WRITING EMERGENCY.
III. I crank out the post in less than an hour and hit publish after very few edits, which always means that I will find typos in the two days post-publication. I go in and fix typos when I see them because it’s MY BLOG.
IV. I often look back at these posts and shake my head—at myself—because I can’t believe that I have any readers at all after publishing that drivel.

The funny thing is, often (not always, but often) it’s the posts on which I spend the least amount of time that get the best response (comments, sharing, etc.) from my readers. IT’S ANNOYING. But I’ll take it. Things happen for a reason. Insert smiley-face emoticon here.

This would be a great time to mention how much I appreciate YOU (yes, you!) for reading. Because really? Most of my posts are pure drivel. Lovable drivel, but still. Ugh. I annoy myself. So thank you. Truly.

Keeping the tour going…

I completely planned on asking a couple of people for permission before tagging them like the lovely Cheryl did with me, but frankly I’m feeling lazy and I have changed my mind because I’m hungry and need to find something to eat for dinner. I’m totally taking the easy way out today.

I would like to hear about Kari’s writing process. She is one of the funniest bloggers out there and she has a very distinctive voice. I can also vouch for her authenticity. WYSIWYG with her.

I’m also tagging Shannon from Deepest Worth. Her posts about her family (and travels, and random thoughts, and…well, you get the idea) are so thoughtful and beautiful.

Finally, I’m tagging my LTYM Chicago partner-in-crime and Platonic Lobster, Tracey from Just Another Mommy Blog because she’s been having trouble finishing posts lately so YOU’RE WELCOME, TRACEY.

I know Kari LOVES MEMES so no worries there, but Shannon and Tracey, if you don’t want to do this I will still adore you forever.

Do you want to get in on the fun? Answer the four questions above on your blog, and then pass it along. Use the #WritingProcessBlogTour hashtag on Twitter and Facebook for sharing your posts!