Wednesday, 6 August 2014

My writing process blog tour

Blogging when I was away in Belarus for Operation Christmas Child

It's been quite some time since I have taken part in a meme but when I read about the 'My writing process blog tour' on Actually Mummy I knew I fancied joining in with this one.

After blogging for over five years it is easy to lose track of why you write and even who you are, so this meme gives me a chance to stop and muse, to really think about why I write and how I go about doing it. Do I even have any logic in my approach?

Hopefully this blog tour will help me to explore my approach and perhaps get back to the very core of why I write. Basically I need to answer four questions about how and why I write, then pass the baton to another writer, who will publish answers to the same questions the following week, thanking the person who tagged them.

So first up, what am I working on?
I think many of the people who have joined in with this tour are writers in a much wider sense than me. I’ve never harboured any secret desires to have my writing published anywhere other than on my blog nor to write a book. I suspect some of that comes from a lack of confidence and belief that I have anything useful enough to say, but I know that things change with times, my self-belief grows. When I first wrote on my blog in 2008 it was closed and only available for five people to read, now here I am with thousands of readers a month.

One thing I am working on at the moment with a friend is a website for Christian women to use as a resource and source of encouragement. There are lots of US dominant Christian sites but none yet in the UK and in reality we do things differently and even speak a different language so we feel called to explore how we can fill that gap with a collaborative site for women.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I suppose my genre is parenting, for years I’ve been referred to as a mummy blogger and I don’t necessarily have an issue with that but when I look at my blog now not that much is about parenting anymore. It is about whatever is going on in our family’s life and as such some might call it is a lifestyle blog. A Christian lifestyle blog.

My faith has always been the golden thread that runs through my blog. It is the reason my blog is still live and current and it is the thing that keeps me going. We all have those days when we wonder why on earth we do this or why we put this pressure on ourselves to write and to perform and for me that comes back to my blog being an insight to the life of an imperfect Christian woman. This is what makes me different - I’m very overt about my faith and not many UK ‘parenting’ bloggers are and I’m completely transparent and honest, blogging about even the hardest times and wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Why do I write what I do?
I write because I feel compelled to do so. I have thought long and hard about this question over the last couple of weeks and the answer that keeps coming is that my biggest driver to write and share is passion.  That could be as simple as my passion for my children and their love of life and fun. Or it could be my passion that others will live a life of contentment and joy through adopting an attitude of gratitude.

Or it is sometimes about the big stuff, about my passion to see justice in the world, that we should all live a good life and that means an end to inequality and extreme poverty.

For me it leads back again to my faith and my desire to see people being real, compassionate and kind.

How does my writing process work?
I wish I could tell you I have some great set formula but I don’t. Writing for me is ad-hoc. Some posts take weeks to brew and I chew over them as I go for walks, clean the kitchen or chat to the kids. Others come to me in a flash and I sit there crying in outrage as I write them and I can’t move away from the PC until I have done my bit.

I don’t believe there is any right or wrong with this, I often have notes on my laptop and draft posts with topics and titles that I feel I want to write. Thankfully I have come to a place where I can balance real life with writing and I do not always feel compelled to get everything written in the week, or even month that the idea occurs to me. But I trust that the right posts will come out when they need to and I’m organised enough that I can meet the obligations I’ve committed to without too much stress.

I realise that in writing this I’ve not given you any great fodder for getting your own writing life organised but I hope I have reassured you that we all do it differently and your way is as good as mine, it is just different.

So who am I passing this baton onto?  Well my pick is Mari's World and I feel like I'm taking a bit of a risk here as Mari is a super busy lady being the editor of the BritMums blog but I'm pretty sure that she is at a certain point with her own blog at the moment and could do with the invitation to do a bit of navel gazing.  Not because there is anything at all wrong with her blog, quite the contrary, it is a great place to visit. I just get the gist from recent conversations that she is at a turning point.... I could be completely wrong, we will see.


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