My Writing Process: A Blog Hop

My Writing Process (or lack thereof)

I’ve been running behind this year.

I’ve tried to give myself some grace as I’ve moved and chaperoned and changed jobs. But, when you are a Type-A, it’s hard to let yourself off the hook.

So I’m trying not to beat myself up that Valerie Biel nominated me for a blog hop post back in May to talk about my writing process… and that I still haven’t written it. Oops.

I’ve been holding her email invite in my inbox these many months, knowing that I would get to it eventually. Well, eventually is now. Without further ado, here is how I go about writing things. All the things.

I have no actual process.

That’s probably not what anybody wanted to hear. It’s not really what I wanted to type. I wanted to say that I get up early every morning and sit on my front porch, sipping a cup of coffee and taking a moment to enjoy the sunrise before I set to typing, never failing to write 1,000 words before I head to work at 7 AM.

That is not the case.

Right now, writing for me has been a haphazard endeavor. It’s something I squeeze in between work hours, freelance projects, and the need for sleep and nourishment.

As you can tell, I’m making tons of progress on that novel (Actual 2014 word count: maybe 14).

But, this year I have been blogging, albeit somewhat infrequently. I’m getting better. That’s progress right? that still counts as writing, right?

Right?!?

When I do write, it’s mostly because I have all of a sudden stumbled upon some half-formed idea while walking from my car to my desk, and so I hurry into work and open Evernote and jot the scrambled thoughts as quickly as I can into a note in my “Writing” folder. I’ve got dozens of little snippets of novels, poems, short stories, and anything else you can think of – just not a completed novel.

This frenzied write-when-inspired tactic is also probably why I have most of the climatic “moments” of my novel written and am now trying to fill in the details to get people from point A to point B in a semi-realistic fashion (Hint: air travel is a blessing).

So, I’m never out of ideas, just the time or motivation to execute on them.

As far as blogs go, I approach them a few different ways. Often, the blog is just about what is going on in life. I write to help me work through what is going on around me, to process life as it happens. Right now, I’m exploring “rest” a lot on the blog, as I reevaluate what is working and what isn’t in my day-to-day routine. Very often I am inspired by other bloggers – a line I read on their site will get the wheels churning and a few weeks later I have my own opinion on something. Other times, its a photo that I take that spurs a blog story – like the weekend we spent in northern Wisconsin recently.

I then usually write the words first, indicating where I will insert what images. Then I watermark photos I’ve taken or create a graphic in Canva for the post and put it altogether. I schedule social media posts about the blog, and call it done! I try to blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but it doesn’t always happen.

So that is my writing “process” – a term I use here very loosely.

Thanks, Valerie, for prompting me to write this blog, even it the prompting came many months ago. You should all go check out Valerie’s latest novel: Circle of Nine: Beltany. I just ordered my copy and can’t wait to dive in! I met Valerie at the UW Writer’s Conference this spring when she was settling into another round of edits for the manuscript. I’m so happy that she has been able to focus more than I this summer and get this book launched. It’s got be a great feeling, and one that I am looking forward to experiencing myself, many months down the road.

Thanks for the inspiration, Valerie!

If you are a writer, what does your process look like? 

A Season of Rest: A Weekend Away

I often find that when I take a day “off,” I end up filling the day with other things that need to get done. Saturdays and Sundays, for me, routinely become catch-up days, where I take care of the laundry and the dishes and the unread emails and then get to the end of the weekend feeling unsatisfied: I didn’t play enough, sleep enough, read enough.

I didn’t practice rest.

I am learning and relearning over and over again that on a semi-regular basis I need to completely unplug. Sometimes (okay, most of the time), the only way to do this is by getting out of town: away from the laundry and the dishes and the unread emails. As much as I love being home, home can become a sort of prison when all you do at home is more work.

So it was an easy, easy decision when friends asked us to travel north this last weekend to spend some time away. I thought I might have to miss out because of a cold early in the week, and I am so glad that I did not. My favorite weekends away are weekends away in the fall, and this time, completely unexpectedly, the fall colors in the north woods were absolutely breathtaking.

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It is hard to put into words the joy that I felt on Saturday, as we drove around and stopped to look, taking the time to just stare. I can honestly say that I have not felt more whole in a long time. The ability to pause and contemplate creation was exactly what I needed.

What does a restful day look like to you in this season of life?

The Collaboreat

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.

In addition to freelance deadlines and surgery for a cat, I’ve also been helping out behind the scenes to launch The Collaboreat.

The Collaboreat Logo

The Collaboreat is a food & travel blog, the brainchild of designer-extraordinaire Bethany Grow of Love Grows Design. Bethany is a self-proclaimed food addict with more than a touch of wanderlust.

Even though I’ve never met Bethany in person, and have only emailed back and forth with her and video chatted, I feel like we could be good friends.

The best friends are the ones that love to travel and eat good food anyway, right? 

That’s what we’re doing with The Collaboreat: gathering people who love food together around a virtual table.

Food and People Far and Wide

I am so excited to be a part of this endeavor. I’ll mostly be handling the social media from behind the scenes, but you’ll see my name pop up on a byline on occasion as well.

Each week will be a different city or feature, bringing you reviews of places you need to eat next time you are in town – or places you should plan a trip for! On Thursdays, the lovely Amy Lee Scott from Club Narwhal will be mixing up a recipe to go with the week’s theme. And on Saturdays, yours truly will bring you The Weekend Menu: links for your Saturday around our three themes:

EAT | MAKE | TRAVEL

So, if you love food and travel, and especially if you love traveling for food, follow along with us!

www.thecollaboreat.com

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