There has been a wonderful blog hop going around the blogosphere lately, asking writers to share insights into their writing process. My lovely friend Kerry from NewToTwo and my soul sister Susannah from Whoa Susannah both invited me to join in this gig. I am thrilled to continue the hop with two of my favorite bloggers out there, Karmen from Chairs From The Curb and Jennifer from Another Jennifer. I can’t wait to read about their experience and insight into the writing process as well!
The following questions are given for each of us to answer…
Why do I write what I do?
I initially started my blog to reach moms and encourage and connect with them through humor and inspiration. It has since transformed into an additional facet of faith. I believe God has been the guiding force behind my words, and I have tried to honor His lead. I write to reach into the hearts of others, with prayerful intention. My goal is always to provide some sort of hope and healing, laughter in living, and encouragement in faith… to those who are in need. I love connecting with people, and my purpose in my writing will always be an extension of who I am. I want to share my gift of encouragement to anyone willing to receive.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think the unique difference with me, is that I am a Christian blogger in the mainstream. I don’t ever want to settle in the Christian corners-because I find fulfillment and joy in connecting with and sharing my words and heart with countless beautiful souls that may not be Christians. I am exactly where I need to be. And although I know that sometimes it would be a bit easier to venture toward the Christian circles, I know God calls me to roam the beautiful landscape of diversity. I absolutely love that I can engage and have soulful connections with so many people, and I don’t ever see me veering away from this oddly wonderful niche I have somehow landed in.
How does my writing process work?
It always begins with a thought, an experience, a visual, something I read or heard, a statement…
Something that triggers a message within. And I often jot down a quick note, so that I don’t forget it happened! I need a good long block of time to allow it to release into words. I begin with praying “God what do you want me to write?” Every. Single. Time. And I stay in that prayer until I sense clarity of the purpose behind my post. Sometimes I will write deep and meaningful articles that I pray resonate and linger in the hearts of my readers… and sometimes I lighten up and share humorous posts that I hope reveal the very real and goofy side to who I am. Both I find meaningful in some way.
Once I feel I have clarity in my message, I then sit down to write…write… write!!! I can spend hours on one post. I re-read it a few times to edit and change sentences and phrases and I usually cut a TON of words and paragraphs out as I try to filter the extra thoughts and ideas and focus in on the message I am trying to convey. I carefully pray through all of the words I read, and ask over and over again-to myself and to God: “How will they receive this?”
My goal? To enrich lives. I write for the purpose of encouraging others, so I read through my words as though I am someone else. I step outside of my own story, my own experience and I try to shift my view to that of the one receiving my message. I often have dear ones in mind for posts, and pray it touches them in some way. I also pray that whoever needs to read my message, is touched and gifted by it as well.
Then I walk away, leaving the rough draft to settle. I need to let my mind and heart settle too… because my initial breath of inspiration may transform into something different, or shift into something with a new angle. After a day or two, I return to that post and re-read it. It’s amazing how different it may seem! Sometimes it still ‘works’ and just needs a few tweaks- but other times, I frantically tear it apart and rework it all over again.
It’s a process people. A long, laborious and ever so beautiful process.
Once I feel at peace about the final draft. I read it a few more times to make sure it reads clearly and settles into my heart with a resounding sigh of ‘that’s it’. Always the most incredible fulfilling part of being a writer is this moment. Completion.
What am I working on?
I am currently enjoying reading and reviewing some incredible books that I have been entrusted with. I am a contributor for three amazing sites on a monthly basis. I am still supporting the book I am a co-author in that is being reviewed regularly and I’m so grateful for the entire experience of being published in a book! (paper- real paper people!) I am enjoying hosting several new friends that are sharing their blogs and books and insights in honor of Mother’s Day. I have been invited to write for another fantastic site about motherhood.
And as I continue forward and remain involved in this powerful industry of women writers, I feel so blessed and honored that I have opportunities to connect and develop close friendships with so many talented and lovely individuals. There are endless opportunities, much of which I haven’t even explored. I hope to try to submit more of my work to bigger platforms, as my dream will always be to expand my reach- and encourage as many people as I possibly can.
Lastly? I have been in a praying ‘rut’ about a possible book idea. I have thought about a Devotional Diary book with the theme of my Devotional Diary series… but still haven’t found peace in that. So I wait. And I practice patience in knowing and believing that God’s Plan is perfect, and I trust He’s got this.
I wrote a post that embraces the true process of my writing over at my friend Shell’s place- Things I Can’t say, called The Writer’s Breath, if you would like to read it. Go HERE.