In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a blog hop happening. What’s a blog hop? It’s kind of like playing ‘tag’ on the internet with blog posts. The theme of this one is ‘Why I write’. It’s been hugely popular, which is not surprising given how much writers love to talk about writing. Particularly our own writing…
If you’ve ever wanted a behind the scenes tour of my writing brain, here it is.
1. What am I working on?
Mainly my blog. I’m currently nutting out a post on the history of loom bands (it’s a thing, really. Bear with me). I work 3.5 days a week at my ‘day job’ and have two little boys, so writing a couple of posts a week is about all I can manage.
In my spare time I write articles for a local kids website. My most recent one is about a fabulous new kid-friendly cafe that’s opened up in Croydon (I’ll post a link on the Facebook page when it’s published for any Melbournites).
I’m also working on convincing myself that I don’t actually need to try to write the next great Australian novel, or get my writing published in major newspapers or magazines. You could say I’m attempting to manage my own expectations based on the resources currently available to me!
2. How does my writing differ from others in its genre?
My genre is personal/parenting blog, with a touch of history. Ok, so that’s not really a genre. But it’s different because it’s me. It’s mine. It’s my voice. It’s spewed forth from my brain. That’s about it. Oh, and I love to get all research-y and pop some fascinating facts in as well, from time to time.
3. Why do I write?
I went to a writing workshop earlier this year, facilitated by the fabulous Tony Birch. He challenged us to summarise, in one word, the emotional impact we hoped our writing had on our readers.
My word was ‘relief’:
- When my writing makes you laugh, I hope your tension is relieved.
- When my writing makes you realise “Oh, it’s not just me – other people have these problems too,” I hope your fears are relieved.
- When my writing gives you an opportunity to learn something new, I hope you’re relieved of the monotony that sometimes plagues us in our everyday parenting routines.
For my friends on Facebook, it was probably a relief that I stopped posting 50 billion status updates a day and started writing blog posts (so they could ignore me more easily without hurting my feelings:-)).
And of course, I write because I love writing. My motto for my blog is: “If you’re not enjoying it, stop doing it”. It’s been over a year now and I enjoy it more every day.
4. How does my writing process work?
My brain is a busy place, as my husband will tell you. It’s constantly creating blog post headings out of random daily events.
If I’m near a computer or my phone I’ll pop a new blog post idea into Evernote, a note taking and organising program. I discovered it about a month ago and it’s become my digital think tank.
Sometimes it’ll be a link to a web article with a few notes of my own, sometimes it’s an excerpt from a conversation, sometimes it’s a picture.
One of the notes is titled “Waiting room etiquette”. It contains a picture of a sign that was up at my local doctor’s surgery waiting room which said ‘Children are to be supervised at all times and their behaviour monitored so they do not disturb other patients.’
I’ve written down the question ‘Why is our society so hostile towards children?’ I was picturing an emergency room dash with my 3 year old earlier this year during which he howled and howled for around half an hour because he was in pain and it took that long for us to see a doctor. I was supervising him and monitoring his behaviour, but how could I possibly be expected to ensure that he didn’t disturb other patients? He’s a child. Children cry and disturb people when they are hurt. Or happy. Or curious. Being disturbed by children’s laughter is a good thing.
Anyway, you get the gist.
I currently have 45 blog ideas in various stages of maturity. Sometimes I add to them, sometimes I delete them. When inspired I’ll trot them out and nurture them into a fully developed post, possibly adding extra information from research in journal articles or web posts.
Other times a post will come to me completely formed, demanding to be written and displace my carefully planned publishing schedule.
My biggest challenge is finding the time to write.