Monday, April 21, 2014

The Meta Post: Writing About Writing

Happy Easter Monday!  We had a super full weekend with lots of fun and family.  Sunday was Easter, of course, but it was also my parents' 46th wedding anniversary.  We met up with them for lunch along with my brothers, my brother's wife and my father in law.  It was a nice day to celebrate family together. We also threw in a birthday celebration for Benjamin since we were all together anyway. He's a bit confused because he knows his birthday isn't actually until next week, but he enjoyed getting presents!

Today I have been invited to participate in a Blog Author Tour with some fellow bloggers who are discussing their writing process.  Sometimes it seems odd to call myself an author, even though I've got an author profile on and a real live book out there with my name on it !  And then as I was thinking about this post, I thought you might be impressed with first book I wrote; way back in 3rd grade!

I've enjoyed reading and writing since I was very young.  My father was a librarian, so I grew up surrounded by books.  As a kid I was usually in the middle of at least two books (so when I got in trouble and my mom took my book from me, I always had a backup!) I feel like I've always got posts and half stories floating around in my head. Maybe a third of what I think about writing actually makes it to the page. 

I'm so glad Lisa invited me to take part in this tour to be able to tell you a little more about my process.

1. What am I working on?
Right now I am working on a post about my writing process. I'm also working on getting the kids to go to sleep so I can go put Easter baskets together! As for the rest of my writing, I'm actually not working on much with actual writing. I have a few posts swimming about in my head that I need to get started on. I had been more organized, but then I got swamped at work, and I got behind.

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I guess to answer this question, I'd have to know my genre. I guess you can call me a Mommy Blogger. As my mother points out, I used to write a lot more about my kids. Then I started doing more planning, reviews, and blog hops, and I don't seem to write about them as much. I still have a distinct mommy-vibe here, because that's what I am. Everything I think, do, write, comes from that perspective.

I think one thing that makes me feel different from a lot of other Mommy Bloggers is that I work full time outside the home. I'm not home with my kids during the day to make projects with them. I don't homeschool them. My two oldest are in school and the youngest is in day care, so we spend much of our days apart. I am juggling work, school activities, doctor's appointments, and various other things. I am fortunate to have a job I love that allows for flexibility for me to still be involved with the kids' schooling, as well as the down-time to write and interact with other bloggers during the day.

3. Why do I write what I write?
I write because my husband gets tired of listening to all my random thoughts throughout the day. KIDDING! (Sort of) I started this blog because I absolutely refused to get on facebook and it was hard emailing loads of pictures to my mom all the time. Originally I was writing down our day to day stuff so she could read it. For a long time that's all I had here. Then I took a step out and joined a blogging community and started finding interactions. Working full time and parenting alone on the weekends doesn't leave me a lot of time for friends and adult interaction and I started getting that from my blog. I've made some really great friends out of it, and even though we've never met face to face, I still feel very connected to them.

Also, before I started my own blog, I used to read lots of others. I enjoyed learning about other people and other families. It is interesting to me to see how other families do thing, whether they be similar to or very different from how I do things.  It's a nice dose of perspective when other moms are dealing with the same type of things I'm dealing with and it's just fascinating to see how other people live!

4. How does my writing process work?
I have a planner that I usually sketch out my month in.  I try to plan a month at a time, but then things get crossed out and rescheduled and moved around.  I like being able to be flexible within the structure of a planner.

On Tuesdays, Lisa and I host #TuesdayTen which is a fun collaboration between two of us who were already doing a similar thing on our own.  Lisa and I met through the MOAM book, and I have had a blast getting to know her better through working with her on #TuesdayTen
Fridays, I have been doing #AskAwayFriday and pairing up with new bloggers every week. That leaves me Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday for other posts.  It seems less overwhelming when I point out to myself that there are two structured days and three non-structured days a week. 

I made the goal to blog every day during the week two years ago.  I've missed a few times, but otherwise I've kept it up pretty reliably. Sometimes I think about pulling back to 3 or 4 days a week, but I think 5 days fits my personality better. 

I am constantly "writing" things in my head. That's when it's helpful to have things planned out ahead of time. I can think about them and get my thoughts organized so I'm ready when I have the chance to write.  Sometimes I write at work when I have down time.  That's also where I do most of my photo editing and graphic designing. 

At home I have an iPad to work with, which is nice because it's very small and portable, but it doesn't allow me to edit or create photos or graphics very well.  When I'm home, I blog on the couch after the kids have gone to bed, or while I'm sitting in their room waiting for them to go to sleep.

I like staying a day or two ahead of myself, but lately that's not been happening. Work and home have both been crazy busy the past week and a half and I feel behind on everything. I'm hoping to get caught up and back on track this week.

For a fun bit of trivia about my blog, you might like hearing that most of my scheduled posts go live at 6:23 AM.  My wedding anniversary is June 23, so those numbers are special to me.  I honor them with my posts by scheduling at that time.

The Blog Author Tour continues next week, April 28th with Lydia from Cluttered Genius and Crystal from Mommifried.  Both are women I have worked with lots in the past.  Lydia has written a children's book that Frances and I reviewed, and Crystal is the brains and muscle behind the whole Mother Of All Meltdowns project.  I can't wait to hear more about their writing processes!

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