I’ve seen this “tour” floating around lately and thought it was pretty cool to read some insight into how other writers see their work. So when Melissa, from Marrying the Army, asked if she could tag me in the tour, I happily obliged. I’m tagging Callie from This Glorious Maze and Erika from Chambanachik, so bookmark them, and check out what they have to say about their writing process in the coming days.
What am I working on?
I’m working on working. I’ve applied for some writing jobs, so now I’m in the twiddling-my-thumbs stage while I wait to hear back. I’m also trying not to bite off more than I can chew; I know I’m just starting to get back into the swing of things, so I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much. It’s all about baby steps as I ease back into this.
As for this blog, I have a long list of topic ideas, and I’m slowly crossing them off. I have 10 drafts in my folder right now, and most of them just need photos, before I can publish them.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
When I write, whether it’s on this blog for for a paid piece, I try making sure my voice is present. The thing is, it’s the voice inside my head—it’s the way I think, not necessarily speak. Sometimes when I talk, my words come out jumbled; I get hung up on silly things like how to pronounce words or whether I’m saying the right thing, but writing is freeing for me. My fingers type exactly what I’m thinking, and if things get mixed up, I just have to press delete and start over.
I like writing in a lighthearted and casual tone, like you’re reading something from a close friend. My hope is that I captivate the reader with a conversation-like writing style, and my goal is to keep them intrigued long enough to read the entire piece. I also like to incorporate pertinent information, that a client
typically requests, in a manner that doesn’t feel forced or boring.
Why do I write what I do?
I’ve never been a fan of hard core journalism; it’s just not my cup of tea. There are so many bad things happening in the world today, and it’s all splashed on the front page of every paper and the headline of every newscast. I prefer writing those “fluff” pieces, if you will.
I like writing about restaurants, because I enjoy trying new places and eating good food. I like interviewing people, because everyone has something interesting to say and others need to hear their stories. I like writing about travel, because it’s fun to distance yourself from reality for a bit and dream about what else is out there. I like writing about parenting, because I have experiences to share. Basically, I like writing about what I know, and these “fluff” topics are things I know a lot about. There’s enough hard news out there—the world could use a little more fluff.
How does my writing process work?
For this blog, I work best when I have a plan. I’ve really enjoyed making myself figure out topic ideas ahead of time and going from there. Of course, things come up (like Julia’s recent adventure), and I just go with it. I love working in the mornings and/or at cafes where I can be alone with my thoughts. I usually have a topic in mind and then I just start writing. When an idea’s in my head, the words just come to me. For longer pieces, I’ll usually let it sit for a day or two (or a week or so) and then come back to it and tweak things. I should let each post sit for at least a day and then review it, but that doesn’t always happen. The longest part of the process is actually finding photos to include; I hate not having a picture to go along with a post.
If it’s a paid piece I do things a little differently. Once I have the topic, I write it the way I’d normally write (doing research about the subject ahead of time). I make sure I have all the key points I need to address on a piece of paper next to me, and as I include them as naturally as possible, I check them off the list. Then, I don’t touch the piece for several hours or at least a day (if I have the time). I reread it and have an extra pair of eyes go over it (99 times out of 100 it’s my husband who does that). I usually change a few more things and then either press “publish” or send it to wherever it needs to go.