Did I mention I recently attended an amazing conference on blogging? I was fortunate to attend BlogU14, which was hosted and led by a group of mega successful bloggers like the ones behind Baby Sideburns and Bad Parenting Moments. The faculty was generous and humble, and the overall feeling of the weekend—which went by wayyyy too fast—was one of support, inclusion, and generosity. The rooms were filled with kindred spirits—people who loved to share their stories and were smart, funny, and down to earth.
One of those kindred spirits I connected with was Ashley Fuchs of The Malleable Mom. The lovely Ashley invited me to participate in a blog hop, where I get to tell you a bit about my writing process, and then introduce you to some bloggers I’m loving.
Ashley and I when she came to town for a wedding this weekend:
Here are the questions:
1. What am I working on? I usually have a few balls up in the air: pieces I’m writing for my blog, pieces I’m writing in the hopes of publishing them elsewhere, and ever-so-slowly, essays for a book I want to write.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? Well, I write a lot about parenting, which is obviously not a unique subject. But I also sneak a lot of stories in about dealing with grief, body image, and mortality, which are genres not so overrun. Sometimes I feel like the fact that I write about different topics is a weakness in terms of building a brand. But I can’t help it—the common thread is that I write about my life and my experiences.
3. Why do I write/create what I do? I started writing as a young girl, and it’s been one of the few constants in my life. However, for most of that time it was a very on-again-off-again relationship. It was after my son was born that it really became like a love affair—I couldn’t wait for quiet nooks of time to get to the page.
A common comment I get from my readers is—thank you for your honesty. When I first started sharing some of my blog posts publicly, last summer, I held my breath as I started writing about things that were difficult topics—depression, an unplanned pregnancy, talking to my son about death. What I noticed was the more honest I was, the more people responded. It shocked me, and also spurred me on. For most of my life, I have had a hard time revealing myself to people for fear that they’d judge me or dislike me when they found out who I “really was.” This has been a stunning process for me both personally and professionally—when I tell the hard truths about myself, not only does it lighten my load, but it actually sometimes helps other people. Shocking!
4. How does my creative/writing process work? Often it starts with a spark of an idea. I tend to make little notes on my iPhone if I’m home with my kids. I also believe in drafts and revising. So I’ll type something out on my laptop. If I’m stuck, I leave for a while—I’ll go for a walk, do some housework, live my life. If I’m lucky, and I often am, the story will percolate as I’m going about the rest of my life, and I can return to it and rework it. Sometimes it takes several drafts. Revising is actually fun for me—it’s so much easier to reshape words that already exist than to face the blank page. And it can be an ongoing process—I just revised an essay I’d started several years ago, sent it out, and got an acceptance note!
Okay, enough about me! I want to introduce you to another writer I met at BlogU14, Lisa Petty of Petty Thoughts. Lisa and I bonded before the conference as we are both nervous fliers. When I met her in person, she immediately told me she was a hermit, which made me both laugh and relate to her. She’s funny, smart and sarcastic.
She’s cute, too.
Lisa has been writing since she was seven, when she decided to write better stories for Saturday morning cartoons. Throughout her adult life, Lisa has been a composition and creative writing teacher. She has worked with students of all ages, from elementary to college. Lisa is also a former stand-up comic. Here is the proof. When she is not writing or teaching, Lisa enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her husband and son. As a hermit, Lisa also spends a lot of time talking to her three cats and two dogs. While her three cats believe that she was put on this earth to hold them, Lisa does get out sometimes, usually with cat fur on her clothes. Check out these posts: Confessions From the Cat’s Desk and A Letter to the Dog Who Is Clearly Not Mine. Here is the proof about stand up comedy:
Thanks for reading, and please check these lovely ladies out!