This post is part of a blog hop which asks the question Why I Write? I had it passed to me by the lovely Lisa from Random Acts of Zen, so without further ado, here it is…
Why I Write?
Honestly, the main reason I write is because I want to become a really good writer. I’m not sure there’s any more to it than that. I feel as though there are some rather large obstacles for me to overcome, mostly fear, but ultimately I just want to be good at what I love.
I am an intensive care nurse by trade, and have been forever. Apart from the odd travel journal, the only writing I did for a really long time was a summary at the end of each shift of my patient’s ventilation and haemodynamic status. Exciting stuff hey! In 2001 I started a politics and history degree which somehow morphed into a creative writing major a decade later. The last few years of study were done through the haze of early motherhood, and creatively I felt completely sapped. I graduated without fanfare. Well actually there were fireworks, but I’m talking metaphorically. It was as though nothing had happened. My life at that point just wasn’t conducive to creativity. People would ask all the obligatory questions when they found out about my degree. What was I going to write? Had I started a novel? Then they would usually throw in a few anecdotes about JK Rowling and that was it. A huge creative void had been opened up inside of me, and I couldn’t see how to fill it.
When my partner first started working away, the idea of writing drifted even further into the distance. But then I decided to make some really big life changes. I took leave from my job (I have since resigned), and I started working on myself. I felt quite damaged, after years of stressful shift work, and the changes I’d gone through having two kids relatively late in life. The break from my job, and the focus on myself created the space I needed to start writing. It took a while, but then it just started to flow. I did a one day ‘blogging course for beginners’ in February, and by 10 am that morning, ‘My Slow Living Adventure’ had been born.
What I’m working on right now?
I am really passionate about the lifestyle I’ve been embracing for the last couple of years, and it’s become great fodder for the story teller inside of me. I am a bit of an obsessive editor so the blog seems to consume a lot more time than it should, but I’m working on that. I am also writing several articles which I hope to ‘pitch’ to some magazines soon. Pitching is a skill I need to learn, and to become brave about! I’ve finished one picture book and have notes upon notes for many more. My completed book has been rejected by one publisher, but I’m not deterred.
When I read Lee-Anne Walker and Denise Mooney’s “Why I Write” posts last week, I was in awe of the writing success that they have each had. I am completely in awe of anyone who has had even a skeric of writing success, but the fact is I’ve barely even dipped my toe into the water.
So what I am working on is building the courage to dip my toe, then my whole foot, followed by my leg into the water.
How does my writing differ from others in its genre?
My blog is definitely not unique, the internet is littered with similar concepts, but my writing is mine, my voice is my own. A few people have said they find my writing quite relaxing. My topic is peaceful, the words are calming, perhaps that makes it a good fit…who knows? I think I have a bit of a knack for conveying emotion. I’ve written a fair bit about my Mum, and she’s a very emotionally loaded topic for me. I feel as though I capture that emotion quite well, and I’m certainly proud of what I’ve written about her.
Why do I write what I do?
Essentially I want to be a good writer, so I write about all of the stuff I feel inspired by, and passionate about. I like the idea of being inspirational to others. I also like the idea of my work being read.
How does my writing process work?
I know it sounds a bit clichéd, but I would describe my writing process as very organic. I don’t plan posts in advance. I did plan a bit in the beginning because I was stressed about having regular output, but now that I’ve established a publishing pattern, I just wait for the inspiration to come, and it usually does. I can easily stress myself by thinking about whether or not an idea will come! I do a fair amount of interesting stuff which is linked to my topic, like fermenting, growing things, meditating, cooking, eating etc, so often an idea will literally just pop up in front of me. The articles I’m writing at this stage are mostly just extensions of my post ideas, and they seem to grow quite naturally too.
I find my thoughts and ideas flow most freely when I’m vacuuming or showering. I’ve always been a shower thinker, but I also invariably get a rush of words which I have to get down on paper while I’m vacuuming. I’ve got big hairy dog, and two boys, so I vacuum a lot!
I write from the heart and I edit from my soul. Again, probably sounds a bit cliched, a bit wanky even, but writing has to flow and have rhythm and feel right. I’ve learnt a lot of grammar, edited using professional techniques, read Shrunk and White from cover to cover, but none of that matters until it feels right. I edit so much, probably too much. I edit like crazy until I’m happy that what I’ve written, says exactly what I want it to say. And there’s still mistakes, still so much to learn, and that’s it…in a nutshell. Or not.
Now as with all blog hops, passing it on to other writers is what it’s all about. I’ve chosen two women who write on either end of my interest spectrum. I first noticed Dating Mumma with her Tuesday posts linked with Essentially Jess, and I always give a little internal cheer when I see a new post from her. She’s funny, open, and hugely entertaining. The other writer is Christie at Living Naturally. Christie writes in a similar genre to mine. I only discovered her blog quite recently and I love it. So ladies, it’s over to you.
This post is linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT.