Monday, May 12, 2014

Just Get the Words on the Page

A few weeks ago, Katie from A Beautiful Little Adventure asked me if I wanted to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour, a kind of chain-letter/link-up hybrid in which various bloggers share about the one thing we all have in common: writing! I'm thrilled that Katie asked me, because I really enjoy her blog; she's got such a unique perspective on life and she inspires me all the time.

Mi oficina, where the magic happens

What am I working on?
Obviously, I write this blog. I know it's been slightly neglected over the past two months, but it's been a really hard spring for us, and I don't like to post negativity all the time. Most of the blog posts I have written in my head — does anyone else "write" in their head way before they write anything down? — haven't been worth posting for that reason. So I'm glad to finally feel like I'm getting my blogging "spark" back, even if we haven't actually found resolution.

At my "day job" I'm also a writer — a freelance one. When I tell people this, they usually ask me if I've written any books. While I like to keep all my options on the table … I have no current plans to write any books. My degree was in advertising, so most of my work is for small businesses and companies, writing web content, business-related blogs, marketing pieces, press releases, newsletters, things like that.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
As far as this blog? Let's be honest, it probably doesn't differ that much from anyone else's lifestyle blog. (Except that I'm trying to sample every flavor of Blue Bell ice cream, and not everyone else is doing that!) There are thousands of people out there doing the same thing as me, but hopefully I bring a point of view or attitude to the table that is, maybe, just a little different, honest, worth reading.

Last week when I was visiting my mom, she said, "My life is so boring, and yours is so exciting! I wish mine were more exciting!" Which is funny, because most of the time I feel like my life is boring too, and I'm always looking for something fun to do!

Why do I write what I do?
Blog: When I first moved to College Station, people always told me there was nothing to do here. That really depressed me, because I don't like being bored. (And also, it's a LIE.) Even if I don't do super exciting things every day, I like the possibility of getting a good story out of every outing. Plus, I work from home, so getting out of the house keeps me from going insane. What started as a way of chronicling life's day-to-day wound up giving me this ridiculous thirst for adventure. (And to be honest, I don't like writing here's-how-my-day-went posts much anymore. I find them tedious. I'd much rather write something that is useful or entertaining or helpful or thoughtful.)

Job: In college, my dream job was to work as a copywriter in an advertising agency. Obviously, moving to a small-ish city in the middle of nowhere was not the best move for that. But, should we someday move to a larger city, or closer to one anyway, I want to still be competitive enough to be able to at least attempt to get back into the field! Freelance writing keeps me sharp; it's something different every day, there are always new people to work with and new things to learn. I'm never bored.

How does my writing process work?
It's pretty similar for both work and blogging: I'm either assigned a topic, or searching for my own inspiration, and for me, the best way to get started is just to start writing. I almost always write my headlines first. Sometimes I already have the body of a piece fleshed out in my head, but not always. The first draft doesn't have to be any good, it just has to serve the purpose of getting the words on the page; I totally believe that you have to get all your terrible ideas out of the way before the good ones come. Then, once the entire first draft is written, I prefer to walk away from it for a little bit, if I have the time. If not, then I jump straight into tweaking and editing.

When I'm trying to come up with things to write about, sometimes I'm inspired by others' blogs or things I read, and sometimes I just have a spontaneous idea that I'll jot down to flesh out later. Sometimes I write entire posts that end up getting trashed because I just can't make them work. I rarely post anything the same day I write it, because I'm insanely picky, and because I go back and re-edit my own work like six different times before I hit "publish." I want to make sure I always say exactly what I mean and that I'm using my words to the best of my ability. (AKA, I'm a big control freak.)

When I'm working on Everyday Adventures, I don't mind music playing, but when I'm working for a client, I prefer only (quiet) white noise, like at a coffee shop or the library — no TV or music with words because I'm too easily distracted. Also, I hate it when people try to read over my shoulder, because if I haven't hit "publish" yet, clearly it is not ready for human consumption. But I don't mind my family or real-life friends reading my work once it's published. I'm not awkward about it.

Next week, we're continuing the tour with an awesome blog friend:

Amanda at The Lady Okie

I can't wait to see what she has to say to these prompts, because she's hilarious and she also makes a living out of the written word. I hope you check out her blog, and check back next Monday for her blog tour post!


  1. I loved reading this. Thank you for participating, it's so interesting to see how different and similar we can be with writing and processing. And I agree, I hate when people look over my shoulder, I lose all my thoughts and tense up. Don't invade my little world!

  2. Thanks for asking me to do this! I'm excited to write my post :) I am with you on not liking people to read over my shoulder. When Jordan tries to do that, I freak out... even if I'm about to hit publish! I just feel awkward about it. For me when I'm writing, it's hit or miss on whether or not I listen to music. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I need EVERYTHING QUIET. haha. Also, I know what you mean about life being boring. I think most people would say that, but pictures and stories make their lives sound so exciting, when really we're just all trying to live our own. I was actually praying about this just last night... thanking God for putting me here. He didn't give me an aptitude for science or some kind of job where I'll make tons of money. etc. etc. So I shouldn't compare myself to others who have this or that, because that's not the life God planned for me. Oh gosh. Clearly I have thoughts! haha. Anyway, fun post! Have a great rest of your week :)

  3. This is such a great series! I love reading about how other people work, and I always find some inspiration, too.