Two weeks ago, the lovely Vilma of Free But Fun sent me an email, asking if I would join in on a
giant chain letter blog hop focused on writing process. My initial response was, hell to the n-o, primarily because I wasn’t sure I even had a writing process. Then I asked myself, really, how bad could it go?…
So, Vilma, if the answer to the above is …VERY, well, clearly there is no one to blame but you. 🙂
Side note: Do y’all know Vilma? If not, check out her blog where she writes about great fun (and free!) things to do in her native Finland.
I hope she doesn’t get in trouble for inviting me to this party.
And, off we go.
What am I working on? Right now, I’m mostly procrastinating, so the better question is, ‘what am I not working on now?” I’ve been talking about writing a book, based on my 2013 Year of Sweat project. That’s just it though; it’s all talk. It’s not as simple as just assembling all my old blog posts, playing with formatting and publishing. I want to use the posts as a jumping off point, but then add in the colour that hindsight allows for. I want to explore the emotions I was dealing with at various points in the journey. I want to reflect on the ah-ha moments, and then consider how I’ve incorporated those breakthroughs into my life. In short, I know what I want to do with a book, but I have yet to take even a single step in that direction.
How does my work differ from others in its genre? Hmm… my writing may be different from other weight loss blogs because I don’t stop at the exercise. Sure, I have spent a lot of time writing about things that make me sweaty, in fact the basis of this blog is don’t starve yourself, just move more. But it’s not about the exercise. I think that what separates my blog from the others is that I explore the psychological side of the journey too. When I hit a wall physically: whether it’s not believing I’m capable of running, or those moments when I’m paralyzed with fear on the side of a mountain, I dig deep to understand why. The breakthroughs come when I am able to sort through which are mental blockers versus real physical limitations. It’s this process of self-exploration that I think makes my writing different. Also, prolific use of the f-word. That makes it different, too.
Why do I write what I do? I write for me. And also because it helps me to feel connected to you. Confession time: Pretty much everyone who knows me would characterize me as a textbook extrovert. In actuality, I’m probably equal parts extrovert and introvert. I have a hard time opening up to people, beyond the superficial. Writing gives me the opportunity to throw scattered thoughts down, then to sift through them as I look for answers to my many questions, and finally, when I hit publish, it allows me to expose my vulnerability to the world.
Knowing that this process will yield a rich conversation with my readers makes it worth every ounce of angst. This is why I write… because I love, and learn so much from, the conversations that follow.
How does my writing process work? At the risk of coming off totally schizophrenic, my writing process is…scattered. Some posts are planned well in advance. I pick a topic that I want to explore and then start my research. Next I put together a rough outline, set a date for publication, and then work against that self-imposed deadline as I flesh out the article and go through revisions and edits.
Other posts are more mechanical (like the weekly workout summaries). They are published at the same day/time each week, and are a set format, so it is easy to be very systematic. I set up a template on the first day of the week, keeping it in draft mode as I update it daily with the specifics of my workouts. By the end of the week, the post has pretty much written itself.
And finally, some topics are total hot buttons for me. I might see something that makes me laugh, or cry, or so mad I could spit. When that happens, I sit down and just start writing. – Rant on… Rant off – . Those posts come out fast and furious because they’re fueled by emotion.
There you have it. This is what I do, how I do it and why I do it.
And now it’s time to pass the baton.
I approached the wonderful, amazing and endlessly entertaining Linda O’Grady a few days ago. The email exchange went something like this:
Linda: GAH! No! Go away you freak!
me: Okay, so then just join the blog hop, okay?
Linda: …Okay, fine.
Linda is not only a blogger friend, but has crossed over into friend-friend territory by
stalking me friending me on Facebook. She is one cool-ass chick, an Irish gal living in Latvia, and fighting daily peer pressure to adopt more leopard-print into her wardrobe. Her blog, Expat Eye on Latvia, is made up of hilarious stories about life in her adopted home. I can’t wait to read her answers to the above questions! Stay tuned, her post will go up Monday, July 14th. Don’t miss it!