Did you see the Tony Awards this week? OUR Hugh Jackman, the handsome and hirsute host, jump/hopped all the way through the four-minute long opening sequence – from the red carpet, all the way up on to the stage, then around the backstage area, weaving through people and props, and then he jumped (literally) back on stage and then without missing a beat, or breath, he SANG. Most astonishingly, he did not require medical assistance. That man is fit! Fit I tells ya!
I’m not jumping, but I am hopping this week – I’m blog-hopping. Allow me to explain. I was invited by my blog buddy Lila from www.littlewolff.com to join her in a blog-hop – where bloggers from here, there and everywhere talk about their writing process. Thanks Lila, it’s a great exercise to put the process into words.
I’m just a newbie to blogging, but I have been writing for most of my life – from the angst-filled pages of my diary, to creative writing at high school (murderous tales involving the principal’s demise if I recall correctly) to choosing a career at the typewriter (Google it!), then computer.
I have typed thousands of letters and legal documents, drafted proposals and have laid my hands on every kind of keyboard from a manual typewriter to a Mac. I’ve written wedding poetry and scripts for skits, and am the on-call family wordsmith when it comes to cards or letters that require that certain something.
In recent years, I have been lucky enough to bluff my way into writing for various publications, as a tacked-on part of my admin role. I have laboured over film reviews, and scrambled for good ideas as deadlines loomed. I’m no professional journalist, but I am passionate about words. I always have been, and always will be.
What am I working on?
My blog! I’m still finding my way, but the words are never far from my reach. I’m working on how often I want to post, the mix of content I want to write, and on the discipline of writing regularly. Sometimes I think people romanticise writing, but like everything worth doing, and doing well, it takes practice and discipline. Discipline and I are not besties. No siree. I’m trying to cajole myself into picking specific days to post; we’ll see how that pans out.
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?
Sometimes it seems a lot of energy gets spent on erecting little bloggy fences around who we can be, depending on our genres, or niches, as bloggers tend to call them. I know for some people those labels probably are a great thing, helping them focus – but for my blog, I want to be unconstrained by niche-y limitations and just be myself. I’m a multifaceted gal, and my blog reflects that. There’s even a label for this kind of broad strokes blogging, it’s called lifestyle or personal blogging.
Getting down to the tin-tacks of how my stuff differs from others… well, simply put, it differs because it is mine. Nobody else writes exactly like I do, or thinks quite like I do, so my content is unique and over time, I hope it will be easy to recognise my style. I think I’m easy to “hear” on the page and that my voice is distinct. I’m irreverent, sincere, and keen to create a place for conversations on my blog. Even in the few months I have been at this, people have responded to things on my blog in a way that makes me immensely glad to be typing to the beat of my own drum.
It also differs because, for my age, I’m not in the usual life-stage of a lot of other people. I’m not married or significantly othered, I’m not sending any kids off to high school (or even uni, I’m that old!) and I don’t own a cat.
Why do I write what I do?
It may sound a bit trite, but I feel compelled to put words on a page, even if that page is virtual, and not many people ever read it. I’m a reflective person, and find that in writing about things that I’m experiencing, or have experienced, I can clarify my thoughts and ideas, and sometimes even reverse my own strongly held points of view. I also really enjoy words, the way they work together to paint pictures, the flow of them once I am at the keyboard, the satisfaction I feel when I finish one paragraph and move on to the next. At the heart of it, I guess I’m a writer.
How does your writing process work?
I usually think about a topic for a bit, considering what my position or goal is, and eventually, I sit at the keyboard and just write – mostly in one hit. Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going, and sometimes I have no idea. I find that as I write, the words lead me, even if we go the long way around.
A post I wrote a little while ago, which was quite personally challenging to put ‘out there’, went in two different directions as I wrote it, and I knew that it wasn’t coming out coherently. By allowing myself to just write, rather than editing as I went, I found that one direction was the heart of the issue, and one was a bit of a smokescreen around what I was feeling. I probably deleted a chunk of four to five hundred words from that post before I hit publish, but I’m glad I did.
I don’t really agonise over the words as I’m writing, but I am thoughtful about what I put out there.
So that’s my writing process. I’m happy to have my L plates on, I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m not letting my beginner-ness (I think I just created a word) stop me from pressing Publish.
Enough about me!
Part of keeping the blog-hop hopping is for everyone that does it to choose three other bloggers to share their writing process. I’m so lucky to have met loads of amazing, talented people via the Blog With Pip course I’ve done (twice so far), so I decided to ask some classmates whose writing I really enjoy to join the hop. Without further ado, and in their own words, I give you:
Rachel blogs at http://rachelfaithcox.com
Rachel has a rare progressive neurological disorder which has munted her autonomic nervous system. It has not munted her desire to chronicle lots of different things with words. Or her ability to love. She writes about the little things that put her in mind of the Big Stuff. And about how lucky she is. She’s also a bit obsessed with mothering, poetry, books and the spoken word.
Naomi blogs at http://naomibulger.com
Naomi is a journalist, author and mother who uses her blog to document and discover the beautiful moments in life, from family and food to craft and photography, life in Melbourne, and decorative mail. She believes creativity should be celebrated, joy should be shared, and the world needs more snail-mail.
Karen blogs at http://leafandpetal.com.au
Karen is an artsy crafter and vintage lover who adores reading, writing and gardening. She is a mum of three and lives by the beach in Adelaide. Karen writes about nostalgia, vintage craft, beachside living and anything and everything that catches her eye.
Check in with the blogs of these fab ladies next week to read about their writing process – actually, pop over to each of them now and you’ll soon see why I’m a fan! Blogging has such diversity of voices and writing styles, there really is something for everyone.
What about you? Do you like writing? Have you got a burgeoning blog up and running, or a half-finished novel or children’s book shoved in a desk drawer or saved on a dusty floppy disk? Fossick around and have another crack at those projects.
You know what they say, practice makes published. Okay, maybe nobody’s ever said that, but I think it might catch on!
28 thoughts on “The Writerly Stuff – the why and how of my blog”
Man I love your words. The way they roll through my mind is a joy to experience. If this is you with your L-plates on, I wanna take a road trip with you. Love.
Carmen – you just made my day, if not week! Thank you. Let’s plan that road trip.
Practice makes published, love it!!! Great post Annette. I think your voice and style of writing is very distinctive and you. I have a feel of how your voice ‘sounds’ in real life, and look forward to hearing how it actually sounds when I see you in August xx
Thanks Carla – I’m enjoying the heck out of this blogging caper, whether I’m speaking to 10 or 1,000 is irrelevant to me. Bring on Pipsters’ Cocktail Hour at ProBlogger!!
Better book a bus for that road trip! Annette, you have that ability to make me laugh cry and smile at your words. I love them all. On-call family wordsmith! Bahaha! Yes, I can relate! I loved reading about your process. And I would dearly love to read about your dead principal. Can’t wait to hear more from you… and thank you from the bottom of my heart for the shout out and blog hop invitation! I think I love you. 🙂 But not in a stalkerish way. 🙂
I receive your non-stalky love Rachel! And reciprocate. Writing is so much fun – I’m learning loads about myself as I tap out these blog posts. Maybe it can be a rock god style touring bus, with bunks and everything!!
I say YAY to un-nichey and multi-faceted writing! You write beautifully and in your own distinct voice. And thanks for the Blog Hop invite! x
Right back atcha Karen, I love your style too. How fun is blogging??
Another beauty of a post! I have been thinking of what a wonderful writer you are and that you should have a tag line. Here’s what I have as options so far:
#1 Annette Hill, the Word Whisperer
#2 Annette Hill, Mayor of Word Town or
#3 Annette Hill, Word Wrangler
I think #1-What do you think?
Hey Barbara, can you run my PR division, or encouragement squad!! Thank you. So sweet!
Annette, this is lovely. I love how you write and how you can really get to your heart of the matter. I also love to know a little more about your writing process. thanks for posting xx
Sarah, I love how YOU write too. Isn’t this an amazing thing – to have a creative place to be ourselves?
Annette, what a wonderful gift you have. Your style of writing is beautiful.
Leah, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. Wow. Thank you. I’m so happy that people are enjoying my rantings!
Gosh Annette, you’ve explained your love of writing so eloquently. It was an absolute pleasure to read this post. Keep writing – you’re amazing!
I will Sonia! Thank you. I think you’re amazing too. Blogging is awesome isn’t it?
You are absolutely right – what makes your blog unique is YOU. Your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences, your ideas, and your own wonderful, straight-talking-but-poetic-nonetheless way of expressing them. Thank YOU.
And also, thank you for including me in this. I’m so honoured!
Hey Naomi, I’m enjoying being me out here in the interweb. I’m meeting great people like you, which is fab. Looking forward to reading your blog hop piece.
I too am passionate about words, Annette, though I am not a diarist, blogger or any kind of writer.
I’m the other side of your coin- I NEED to read. I am so grateful that you feel compelled to write and share your musings, reflections, experiences and views.
You write in a beautiful conversational way with such honesty, wisdom, and at times vulnerability that you are a joy (and sometimes angst!) to read. When a blog post from you pops into my inbox I feel a sense of anticipation at opening your latest offering of what feels like a special gift just for me! Thank you.
Hi Tanya, all writers need readers, I’m so glad you’re one of mine – that seems such a strange concept, but I am humbled by your praise – thank you so, so much. I love reading too, and can lose myself in a book for hours on end.
Annette admires autumn and always achieves applause after all anecdotes.
Love your writing. Jo xx
I think you have found your calling in life Annette. Once again, thank you for a fantastic post – your style and topic matter is so readable. Love your honesty and your ability to make every day “stuff” interesting. I also learnt a new word today which is always a good thing – your description of the spunky Hugh Jackman as “hirsute”. I’ll be stealing that word for future use !
Ing, I do love blogging, that’s for sure! Thank you so much xx
[…] here is my contribution to the wonderful Annette’s Blog Hop. By the way, you should head over to I Give You the Verbs, she writes like a […]
You have a really strong, clear writing style Annette. ‘Practice makes published’ is also an ace line.
Thanks Rebecca, that’s my goal, to keep writing in a recognisable way – I like that line too!
[…] encouraging, most connected bloggers I’ve met, and you can read about her own writing process here. Leave Annette a comment because she always responds, and she’s wonderfully chatty and […]