After the Mother of All Meltdowns was published, a sweet friend of mine offered to throw me an author reception and several people wanted me to sign copies of the book. It was extremely surreal. Even though my name was right there in print in the book, it seemed like a giant leap to call myself and author. In fact, even just calling myself a writer feels a little odd, though I've been blogging for four years. However, it is starting to sink in - little by little.
So, I was very intrigued recently when I saw some of my favorite bloggers participating in a Blog Author Tour discussing their writing process. To a writer like me, learning how the mind of other writers whom I admire and enjoy works is like getting a glimpse into a secret room. (See, there? I actually referred to my self as a writer!) Therefore, I was very excited when Tamara tagged me to participate.
Here are my answers to the questions about my writing process.
1. What am I working on?
At the moment, I am somewhat over-committed in regards to my blog. (Well, actually, in regards to life in general.) I love to write and I love to connect with other bloggers, so I have said "yes!" to too many things. My editorial calendar is full - too full. I am trying to get through some of my current commitments so I can scale back bit and write the things I have been wanting to write but haven't had time for.
That being said, I just recently wrote the first of thirty posts about things I want my kids to know about me. I definitely want to continue and finish that series. I am also having fun co hosting Tuesday Ten with Rabia from The Liebers. We have fun coming up with topics and, then, seeing all the directions different bloggers go with it. For a while, I was submitting like crazy to several "larger" sites in an attempt to grow my following and, perhaps, validate myself as a writer. I got tired of rejection, though, and overwhelmed with other things, so I have put that on the back burner for now.
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I struggle with this one. I consider myself a mommy blogger and there are literally thousands of mommy bloggers out there. We are all trying to put a new, different spin on common topics. I think, sometimes, it is easier for me to define myself by what I am NOT. I am not funny. Some bloggers are able to put a hilarious spin on parenting, but that's not me. I am inherently un-funny! I've tried. I am also NOT one to use profanity or over-share personal, intimate details. I'm just not comfortable with it. If I did it for effect, it wouldn't reflect who I really am. Finally, my kids are the ages they are - 11, 9, and 6. Therefore, I am NOT in the throes of breastfeeding, potty-training, and terrible twos. I was there at one point in my life, but that time has passed for me. I AM a mom of three beautiful girls and I AM a wife to a wonderful guy. I get frustrated and tired, but I love my family. I hope that comes through in my writing.
3. Why do I write what I write?
When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I simply had a funny story to tell about something one of my kids had done. Back in the beginning, I wrote sporadically and everything was purely about my girls. I had visions of all my blog posts being bound into a book that I could, one day, give my girls in hopes that, when they are mothers, they could read it and know that I understand. A little over a year ago, I was bitten by the "I could become a famous blogger" bug. I started writing what I thought would be popular even if it wasn't true to my voice or my original purpose. Now, I am trying to get back to that original purpose. I still enjoy things like Tuesday Ten and intend to continue those things. I want it to be a mixture of me writing for ME and me writing for MY GIRLS. I will not write things that aren't in my voice in an effort to be popular.
4. How does my writing process work?
When I started blogging, I just wrote whenever I had something to write about and immediately hit publish. However, I am a very scheduled and organized person in real life. Now, I am very scheduled with my blog also. I mentioned before my editorial calendar. My calendar is kept in a three ring binder along with sections for ideas, blog hops, etc. Often, the calendar is full two-three weeks in advance with post topics penciled in. Part of the reason for that is I like to write from a prompt which is why I enjoy Tuesday Ten, Finish the Sentence Friday, Ask Away Friday, and things like this. I enjoy having a topic/prompt to get started, but being able to take it in my own direction. Typically, I have my posts written a few days in advance. (Lately, however, with my over-full calendar, I am often doing them the day before.) Because of this schedule, I often begin thinking about my posts days in advance. I do some of my best "writing" in my head during a long, hot shower or while taking a walk.
Most of the time I write in my office or while sitting on the couch with my laptop. I have to block out other distractions (like Social media and reading other blogs) and just get down to business. Once I am finished, I preview it to make sure spacing looks good and to check for typos (I make a lot of them and do not catch all of them!). My posts always publish at a time that is scheduled in advance.
Next week, on April 21st the Blog Author Tour will continue with Janine from Janine's Confessions of a Mommyholic and Rabia from the Liebers. Both Janine and Rabia are contributors to the Mother of All Meltdowns. I knew Janine before the book through Finish the Sentence Friday. I met Rabia when we were both in the book and have since gotten to know her better. We were both doing our own Tuesday Ten posts and, in January, decided to combine forces to create our weekly Tuesday Ten linkup. Rabia and Janine both amaze me because they each post at least five days a week. As I said, I have overcommitted myself into posting four times a week lately and I feel like I'm drowning! I can't wait to hear their answers and find out how they find the time and inspiration to post so often!