A beautiful chain-letter of writing has been circling the internet for the past few months. Typically, I’m not a fan of memes or chain letters, and I’m certain I’ve brought bad luck upon my family for not forwarding recipes to my seven best friends, or deleting emails I was suppose to give to 10 amazing women in my life, or hurt my child somehow by not mailing a book or something to eight of her friends.
But this chain intrigued me. As a blogger(and a writer) I love to learn more about my favorite writers and how they write exactly – their process, what they are working on, how they write, why they write, and how the hell are they so damn brilliant when some days I truthfully would rather watch a marathon of made for Netflix series than to even open my computer. Do others ever feel that way?
So I’ve been reading about writing processes and learning a lot, nodding my head in ‘yeah I do that too’ and taking notes on some brilliant ideas that they have shared.
I was honored when Denise of Universal Grit asked me to share my writing process next. I met Denise through our essays for This Is Childhood. I’ve been honestly overwhelmed being grouped with these amazing women and writers as their words humble me yet push me to write more and better.
So with that – I give you my writing process:
1. What am I working on?
Sadly not much lately. After writing a lot over the past six months I honestly am very busy right now with my co-production/direction of the Listen To Your Mother Show in the Twin Cities. I am actually reading an original piece for the show – so I did write that! I also have several essays in draft form that I need to revisit when I have the time as they are topics I really want to explore more. I’m finding that right now this isn’t a great time to write – the kids are busy, work is busy, Jed is busy, Spring is busy – that writing for me has hit the back burner hard this season.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I consider myself a blogger more than a writer – but I hope I do a decent job with both? I don’t know. This question is hard because I don’t feel like I’m different or stand-out from others – but what I do write is real – it’s me – and it will always be more for me(and my kids) than for you. Is that weird?
3. Why do I write what I do?
I started my blog because I wanted to capture moments of what our lives are right now. Right here. And as a way to make connections. I’ve always tried to be transparent in my writing – but it’s hard sometimes because of the feeling of being less-than or judged. My worst days are when my husband receives a phone call from a family member questioning me or my decision to write what I do. Like it’s not okay to be vulnerable. But I think we can’t be strong without being vulnerable. I hope through my writing that my daughters will see and know that it’s okay to share and just be themselves. Worrying about what other people think will always kill your creativity and joy.
4. How does my writing process work?
Ha! What’s that? My process goes something like this…pay very close attention here as you will learn to better your process…
4:45 come up with brilliant story idea while out running
5:15 return home and forget brilliant story idea
5:30 pour coffee and remember story idea
5:32 sit down to write but open facebook
6:15 still on facebook
6:35 read other blogs. think that I’ll never write anything that great…
6:40 brilliant story idea is not so brilliant
6:45 wake-up kids
8:00 wave good-bye to two kids after the last hour of DOING ALL THE THINGS FOR THE KIDS
8:05 stare at third child who is staring back at you. tell her that mommy needs to write for awhile – so just go play.
8:15 realize child will not go play. plan something to do that will exhaust her so she takes an afternoon nap.
9:00 go to zoo. try to act like I love the zoo
12:00 lunch of mac-n-cheese eaten right off the plate of my child because she ate like four noodles and just lives off of air.
12:30 child settles down to rest/nap/watch a show/generally just let MOMMY WORK for two hours
12:35 sit down to write
12:40 open facebook
12:45 “Mommy I’m bored.”
12:50 close computer, snuggle with child, fall asleep
2:30 SHIT – the other kids are getting home soon
2:35-3:15 do ALLTHETHINGS FOR THE HOUSE – laundry, kitchen, sweeping, bathrooms, prep dinner
3:15 kids home – ALLTHEHOMEWORK
4:00 cook all the dinner
5:00 eat dinner
5:30 shuttle allthekids to alltheactivities
7:30 get home from alltheactivities
8:00 littlest bedtime late tonight because of alltheactivities
8:30 big kids bedtime
8:35 sit down to write amazing story that maybe really is still amazing
8:40 check facebook
8:45 fall asleep on the couch
fade to black…
Next week the writing process continues with my sisters from another mister. Since nepotism is alive and well in the blogging-world -I am asking Galit Breen and Vikki Reich to share their writing stories. I love them both so much that I could dedicate hundreds of blog posts just to them – if I ever found the time to write. But they both have inspired me – as mothers and as writers to dedicate time to both amazing crafts(motherhood and writing), and I hope we are old and cranky and still hanging out together when we are 85.
Be sure to check-out their posts next Monday, April 28th.