Blog Tour – “#mywritingprocess”…………….. Hey, it’s Possible it’s Not as Dry as it Sounds, Unless My Martini is Involved, in Which Case We’re Talking Desert Material

I’ve been invited to participate in the 2014 blog tour to explain my writing process, (#mywritingprocess).  Considering the topic, next to my story in 50 words, this should be my shortest post yet.  Should be, but if you know me at all, you know I like to talk.

horse tour bus 1First, let me say that my invitation to participate in this esteemed tour came from the esteemed source of my groupie-ness, syndicated Journalist, Author, and dreamy volunteer Firefighter, Ned Hickson.  (Thank you Ned, for that awesome tour intro you gave me last week). Some know I am Ned’s number one groupie, and as he reluctantly points out, his only groupie.  No matter, I vow to follow him (virtually) all over the world.

Ned’s blog is a constant source of crazy humor, but he also inspires with occasional tales of overcoming some of life’s toughest hills. In addition to inspiration and laughs, he provides a terrific weekly guide for how to become a better writer.  That’s a lot of great stuff to come out of one dreamy firefighter blogsite.

Okay, I’ve met all groupie gushing contract requirements.  Let’s head to the four questions that may help or hinder interest in how I do things.

What am I working on?

My biggest and most joyful working effort is being a mom, but the writing needs for that are mostly restricted to volunteer and permission forms. After those literary challenges, I lunge for any marketing or communications pleas that are actual paying projects, (more pleas(e). Finally, I get to blurt out whatever else is on my mind on various word docs that may or may not make it to my blog – like this post.

What I’m really working on is learning to loosen up on what I want to write, but I subscribe to Ned’s idea of writing being a super power – with responsibilities.  I’m traversing that line of balancing what I want to say with privacy issues; my truth vs. how that truth will affect people around me.  I suspect an ongoing battle with this.

be nice or else

 How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

blogging unique picI think most of us are not niche driven writers and so what I write is unique only in the sense of it being my personal experiences.  Despite this lack of distinctiveness, I’ve found a lot of various insights and common commiseration that serve to heal, inspire, and support my growth as a person and as a writer.  I hope that’s mutual with my readers.

Why do I write what I do?

blogging egg-various-emotions-29317166I am a product of my emotions.  Whatever puts a lump in my throat or induces a screech will find its way into my journals.  It’s not always about the big things, especially as life is the many more small moments.  As an average Earthling, I’d guess that most of those moments are relatable to most people.

I also suffer from good punchline comeback lag.  I can come back at ya an hour to several days after your bazinga! Blogging provides a great smoke screen for me to show off my semi-brilliance at the speed of a slug. 

How does my writing process work?

blogging writing processesDespite trying to follow the very good advice of setting writing schedules, I seem to respond best to the lash of deadlines. Although, when I feel an extra hit of passion for my topic, the words flow across the page quite steadily. Which is what happened when I started writing for this invitation. (Yep. You bet.)

What’s more usual is that I’ll get an idea, then map out various thoughts about it. To the naked eye, this map looks like utter madness. Which is where it drives me at times while I work at piecing those thoughts into a cohesive story line.

It can get frustrating when I think I’ve made two or more really great points, but I can’t get them to work together, or it would be overkill to use them all. Sometimes, this means I won’t finish a post for anywhere from a day to a year to never. Clearly, these are not uh, time sensitive.

Then we’re onto the final edit and spell and grammar checks to the best of my ability. My final step has always been reading it out loud a few times. If it flows easily verbally, it seems to read well too. I listen for the artistry in the words. For me, this is confirming the truth of the statement really came through my heart.

I have to say that even when I do get a post finalized, I will still freak over a word here and there for probably around three months after its been published. I can be a little obsessive, which I don’t recommend. I’d suggest live it, love it, let it go. Eat, pray, love, blah, blah. 

The Worst Part

I bet you thought I was going to say: the wait for judgment. Well, there is that, but hopefully people will mostly give me a thumbs up. At the least, my work here is for my son, and maybe some other kids in my family who may someday get to hear my voice as it is.

No,  the worst part of this, is the request to choose someone to pass the tour torch to. This was way too hard. There are far too many wonderful writers, many of whom I have yet to get to on a regular, or any, basis. However, in this case, since I couldn’t pick the greatest story teller I know – my non-blogging step-dad, I chose a writer whose genre and style is quite different from mine.

If you haven’t met him yet, where have you been? I am referring to none other than Bruce Goodman, a writer known for his pool of prolific creativity and a mysterious and interesting past. He is a writing machine pumping out daily entertaining plot twists.  You can find his own tour insights at his website:                 http://bbgoodman.wordpress.com/

Finally, I’m also highlighting some writers who have recently flattered me with award nominations. They are insightful writers with distinctive voices and styles and I am very happy to have been able to come across their paths:

Rachel Carrera: who many already know is loaded with literary talent and is a terrific supporter of her fellow writers. Check her out at:                                         http://rachelcarrera.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/the-light-in-the-world/.

Dawnson: Dawnson gifts us with loads of beautiful photos of life’s varying moods and textures. Find her at:  http://iblogstr8sicit.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/my-phone-is-freaking-out/

Lastly, thank you for the nomination for another Versatile Award nomination to: http://betternotbroken.com/2014/03/15/if-anyone-is-versatile-it-is-me/

If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for your incredibly kind indulgence and I nominate you for supporter of the year!

RL

Beware of Bloggers, and Other Success Warnings

Recently I witnessed two prominent blogs, each followed by several thousand readers, cause disturbing ripples across the blogging community.

Although I’m fairly new to this arena, I did have contact with both of these bloggers, but it was minimal, and so I watched the dramas unfold from the safety of the periphery.  Nonetheless, it left me unsettled and a little disconcerted.

Writing gifOne of the blog-sites fully imploded due to revelations of wide-spread improprieties toward other bloggers that included bullying, coercion and sexual harassment. That site’s owner/writer ended up closing down that blog and all its associated webpages, but it had run for quite a long time prior because the harassed had been intimidated into silence.  The other had to deal with a very strong backlash regarding a post in which he called out another blogger as less than worthy of public acclaim.  This one also closed, but only temporarily, presumably to lick wounds and regroup.

In both cases, regardless of how much damning proof there was, there remained for both of these bloggers a strong base of supporters who were willing to excuse and even completely overlook the accusations toward these, their heroes, and for many, their  ‘on-line friends’.

In retaliation of the revelations, these supporters were also more than willing to demonstrate their solidarity by writing the victims and/or injured parties and their followers to demean and belittle them and the charges, some even issuing threats. This is a pretty strong example of when people don’t like to admit they’ve made a mistake – especially about someone they look up to. Especially one that questions, “Was I a sucker”?

Each case reminded me of the often repeated cautionary tales that we speak to our kids about when it comes to internet usage – whom to associate with and what we choose to post online.  It also reminded me that we have to re-think how we make heroes out of appearances of success.

In the blogging world, a successful following and  wider readership is attained through, in large part, making mutual blogging contacts and following each other’s work,  but like our warnings to our children, we also need to be more discerning about with whom we choose to support and associate.

In the pursuit of success, we too often, and easily, make heroes out of those we see as triumphant.  We hope to be able to tag onto their success and open opportunities for ourselves.  At least, that’s how it supposed to work and really, that’s how the world has gone around forever.  However, applauding success doesn’t require falling down in worship.

The last few weeks have served as a tough reminder to many of us to remember to be responsible for what we say publicly, or be willing to take full responsibility for the results, and it is also a reminder to behave; act with decent propriety and respect.

In the interest of general face-saving and self-preservation, we should also pay attention to that old adage of listening to our gut.  Follow our heart in what we want to say, but definitely pay attention when our Spidey senses start tingling while we’re writing, reading, or in a discussion.  Let’s face it, in this realm, we really don’t know who we are be-friending. If we back-off from something that feels wrong, that’s a win.  Maybe we will miss out on a chance to step up a notch, but it’s far more likely that there will still be plenty of opportunities to grow.

The last thought I took away from all these events, is yes,yes, yes it is OK to stand up for yourself, respectfully, when you’ve been wronged.  Even in the blogosphere, no one is too big to have to own up to bad behavior.

RL