A couple of week ago, Katia at IAMTHEMILK asked me if I’d participate in a blogging tour that’s making its way across the blogosphere. It’s not an award of any sort but a way for bloggers to share a little bit about their writing process. Below I answer four questions and then tag some other bloggers to do the same.
I love Katia and the way she finds just the right mix of humor and seriousness in many of her stories. Katia’s post about her writing process is On Trees and Writing but please read The Unbearable Lightness of Being Away where she shares her feelings about the Israeli and Palestinian struggle and how it feels for her to be so far away from her home.
What am I working on?
Well, I’m not writing a book. I might be the only blogger in the blogosphere who doesn’t aspire to be a published author, which raises the dilemma of how I will ever be on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday if I don’t write a book. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Right now, I’m working on my next blog post.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I’m not even sure how to describe my genre. I write about God but I don’t tend to use the same language as a lot Christian bloggers. I write about motherhood but I don’t really fit in with the mommy-blogs either. I write about recovery but I don’t necessarily attract a big sober blogging community crowd.
I’m a storyteller and my stories are born from my heart, so maybe that makes me a Heart Teller. I believe we all have several versions of the same story inside of us. Some versions make us look good to the outside world and downplay our responsibility in the way things have turned out. Other versions have us taking the blame for circumstances beyond our control and turn us into victims. I try to tell my heart story. My heart story is the place where I’m most connected to God, where I have a balance of responsibility and peace in the knowledge that I’ve done my best, and where I’ve found a song that I can sing in my own company.
Why do I write/create what I do?
I got my first journal when I was 10 years old and I named her Kitty (it was a Hello Kitty journal, duh). At first, the entries were cute and earnest.
Dear Kitty, I got to make ice cream today!
Then, I was molested by a friend of a babysitter and the entries began to change. I started to write lies and tell elaborate stories. What’s interesting is that the stories told the truth if you paid attention. At some point down the road, I became embarrassed about the stories and ripped several pages from Kitty and those empty spaces left a hole in my heart.
That’s why I write. To recreate the story I didn’t allow myself to tell. To tell my heart story.
How does my writing/creating process work?
I never type out my drafts directly into WordPress. I’m too afraid of accidentally hitting publish before I’m ready!
Usually, I have a point I want to make (the heart of the story) and I then I figure out which details support my point best. I might write thousands of words but I always cull it down to get the point across in the fewest words possible. I want the heart to remain distinct.
I almost always begin with the same thought: It happened the way it happened but it doesn’t necessarily mean what I think it means.
Sometimes, a post comes to me quickly and I don’t edit myself too much. Other times, it takes months for the heart to reveal itself and I go through several versions.
For me, the writing process doesn’t end until I reply to comments. I often learn as much from the kind people who comment as I do from the writing process itself.
Writers I’ve tagged and want you to read:
The Mercenary Researcher – If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you may already know that Rutabaga and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We honed our writing skills through the art of passing notes in class, one of the many things that texting has ruined. Rutabaga can be serious but she touches my heart through humor. Here’s one of my favorite laugh-out-loud posts:
Message in a Bottle – Paul is an icon in the sober blogging community and it’s easy to see why. It’s rare to find a recovery blog where he hasn’t left a kind and supporting comment or shared a story about his own recovery. I look forward to his comments almost as much as his blog posts! He’s a prolific writer and it was hard to choose but this post is one of my favorites:
MamaMick – Have you ever read someone’s blog and felt like you’ve known this person forever? Maybe in a past life? That’s how I feel about Michelle Terry. She’s a Heart Teller who happens to write from the heartland of our country and has a way of telling a story that makes me feel like I’m there. Lately, she’s been featuring guest bloggers but here’s post by Michelle that will make you love her as much as I do: