Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Writing Process

I’ve been asked to participate in the “my writing process” blog tour from Kristen Levithan at Motherse. Kristen is a former history teacher and current freelance writer. She’s also a fabulous mommy of 3 children and a particularly awesome friend. She is a wonderful writer not just because she is smart (which she is) but because she writes from a place that is authentic and relatable. I am grateful for her friendship and the works she shares with all of us. I particularly enjoyed her most recent piece in Brain, Child Magazine reviewing Jennifer Senior’s new book All Joy, No Fun. You can read her review HERE(http://www.brainchildmag.com/2014/03/book-review-all-joy-and-no-fun/). She also has an essay in Brain Child Magazine’s new book, This Is Childhood. Read more about her wit, humor and fabulousness on her blog HERE (http://mothereseblog.com/about/).

What are you working on?

What am I working on? Mostly life. I just work on living and breathing and reminding myself to focus, in and of itself, on any one thing at any one time. Today we found lice. Today I am working on lice. That doesn’t leave a lot of time in the day for thoughtful explanations of difficult topics and long winded narratives. But I am a mother who writes, not a writer who mothers. Mostly, I am working every day on understanding, navigating and balancing the natural tension between the two.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It differs from others because it is uniquely my voice. Even when I write about something that might have been described hundreds of times over by any other mommy blogger, my story matters because each of the moments we experience and share are uniquely ours. When I write, the words are through my eyes. Regardless of the subject, when they tell what they’ve seen it’s very personal and individual.

Why do I write what I do?

When I’m happy, when I struggle, when I’m confused, I write to remember or process my feelings. If I think what I’ve got might be illuminating for someone else, I’ll proactively submit and share with other folks.  Often, if I don’t write it out, I can’t move past it. In the rhythm of my life, I am grateful for the words that help move me forward and unstick myself.

How does my writing process work?

Oh, well, that’s pretty buttoned up and formal actually. I’ll go to my office (laptop in bed or table for 1 at local restaurant) and do something that I now reserve for special occasions: I’ll think. I’ll think about what I’m going to order and what’s new and what’s sitting well with me and what isn’t and then I’ll look at this blank page and think to myself (as I always have) “Shit, I really hate the way a blank page looks.” And then I’ll squeeze as much of myself and these feelings into a bunch of words that fill up this blank space. Which makes me feel better because as I mentioned, I really hate blank pages.

And then I’ll close the laptop. Hours and sometimes days later, I’ll reopen and reread again and again to see if it still flows and makes sense. And if it does and it’s meaningful in some way, enough to bother sharing with folks and take up even one precious second of their time-strapped day, then I’ll do that.

 

Thanks for inviting me to participate Kristen! Look forward to hearing more about other interesting folks along the way!