• The Process of Writing

    Date: 2014.06.23 | Category: Life, Me, Work | Tags:

    My friend Kelly of Mrs. Bachelor Girl recently asked me to join in the discussion about my writing process. I love reading about what inspires others to write and how they manage to pull it all together. Kelly has a great gift for humor and her posts on living in the South often have me laughing and nodding along knowingly.

    Without further ado, here are my answers to this blog link up.

    1)   What are you working on right now?

    Because I run a small monthly publication, I tend to wear all hats: editor, graphic designer, writer and even webmaster. Most of my time is consumed with the editor part of that job. This means I do a lot of editorial planning, article assignments, photo set-ups, photo journalism and copyediting. But the great thing about being an editor, is that when a story comes my way that really captures my heart and attention, I get to lay claim to the story and write the piece myself.

    Right now I’m planning our next three issues, assigning writers and figuring out what I’m personally going to tackle.  A couple of those items include write ups on the ordination of two men to the priesthood and their celebration by a Swahili choir and a piece on a couple of big awards our magazine recently won (Whoop!)

    I’m also giving some much needed love to my blog that has been limping along since I gave birth to our second child last September.

    2)   How does your work differ from others of its genre?

    As far as my professional writing goes, I like to find the heart of the story – what motivates people to do the things they do: help people, go to an amazing international event, sponsor a ministry. I like to connect with people on an emotional level and try to share their stories in a way that will make people read and care.

    When I blog, I try to do the same thing in a way. I share things that deeply touch my own heart. Sometimes those are serious things like secondary infertility or encountering families in extreme need, and sometimes they are lighthearted things like celebrating “Mermaid Day” as imagined by my 3-year-old.

    3)   Why do you write what you do?

    For my day job I write and assign stories based on what I think will inspire our readers to pick up the magazine and read more than a glancing word. We are so imbedded in a culture of scanning readers that it’s hard to grab their attention and keep it. I try to write and share in a way that makes people want to read more.

    In the blogging world I write because I believe in a community of sharing and support. Sometimes sharing my most difficult and emotional moments has helped others or garnered an amazing and caring support network.

    Also, I really like to brag on my kids. I can be an annoying mom like that.

    4)   How does your writing process work?

    My writing process really varies depending on what I’m writing. For example, this past weekend I attended an ordination to the priesthood for two men: one was Kenyan and one was Indian. And while that, in itself, was a neat celebration, what really captured me was the joy and overflowing enthusiasm of the Swahili choir in attendance. Their joy pushed through the somewhat usual stiff structure of the Mass and had everyone on their feet and celebrating. That clash of culture and infusion of joy really inspired me to go home and write immediately.

    Other times my writing process is meandering: I’ll start to write about my day and in the process realize that one of the details I’m mentioning needs a whole blog post to itself. I start over, delete and re-shape often. You can’t be afraid to scrap something that doesn’t work and try again.

    As part of the link up I’m to tag three of my favorite writers.

    Lori: a co-worker and real life friend who has been a great inspiration to helping our family move to a healthier lifestyle blogs over at Purpose Driven Mom and DomandLori.net. She has a beautiful gift with words and has had me sobbing with her beautiful and inspiring posts about her recently deceased pup and member of the family, Mason.

    Cassie: initially a blog friend and now a real life friend, shares in an honest, no-nonsense way and I am often humbled by the things she and her family do for one another and their community.

    Bluz: a blog friend of mine I met many years ago now. He can spin a good yarn and make me laugh. And while he and I may not see eye-to-eye on everything, we can always talk and discuss civilly and he always teaches me a thing or two about sports.