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!