When my friend Dani Stone (freelance writer and short story author extraordinaire) asked me if I’d already participated in the How I Write blog hop, I had no idea what she was talking about. To which she replied, “SWEET ACTION.” And this is why I love Dani. Our Facebook IMs are epic, and often result in me snorting some beverage I’m drinking out of my nose. The gal is funeeee. And while we’ve only met once in person (well, twice if you count the time I waved at her in Red Beans, and she had no clue who I was), I’ve forged a bond with her over freelance foibles, writer woes and momma drama. So of course I wanted to participate in this blog hoppy thing.
I’ll answer a few questions about how I write below, and then invite other bloggers into these shenanigans.
How I Write
What Am I Working On? More often than not, when I tell someone I’m a writer, they immediately ask, “Like novels?” (Insert sad trombone noise here.) No, not novels. At least not yet. I haven’t worked up the cojones (okay, I will never actually have those) yet to get a book together. I fear rejection, honestly. Until then, I’m happy to have a few steady freelance clients, including VistaComm, Rural Lifestyle Dealer and Presbyterian Manors (as well as other gigs here and there). So I write about agriculture and octogenarians. And I LOVE it. The people are amazing, and the stories (especially from elderly residents) often bring me to tears. I also blog here (duh) and write regular posts for whattoexpect.com. More about all that stuff on my professional website, catpoland.com. (This blog is clearly my unprofessional website.)
How Does My Writing Differ from Others of Its Genre? Hmm…I’d like to think I’m like Ann Voskamp‘s irreverent sister. No, Ann doesn’t know this yet. She has no idea who I am (but she did retweet me once, and I went all fan girl). I’d like to think that like her, I share deep, meaningful stories about my day-to-day life, and tie them in with how to strengthen your relationship with God. But unlike Ann, I keep it a little too real, and use words like “poop” and “booty.” (There are no posts with the word poop on her blog, I checked. See?)
Why Do I Write What I Do? Oh, there’s no real rhyme or reason. When I feel a burning desire to dance my fingers across the keyboard, I do. Sometimes it’s daily, sometimes not. I don’t often stray from the subjects of parenting and marriage, but even when I have, I’ve been met with support and acceptance. Like the time I wrote fervently about my brother’s suicide. I shocked myself with my transparency. But you know what? People wanted to know more, and more and more. And so, I’m putting it all in book form for the world to digest in one piece. I sincerely want to help others with my words, and I think I will.
How Does My Writing Process Work? I get asked this a lot. People wonder how I can write what I do. It took a bit of time to find my authentic voice, but once I did, the only thing I can compare it to is sneezing. Something triggers a reaction, it builds up, and comes out. Not always pretty, but I feel SO much better once it’s done.
Next Week – More Hopping. . .
And much like Dani passed the baton to me, I’ve invited two more bloggers into this hopalong. Jodi Pyle and Alex (I don’t even know her last name) are two women I’ve never met in person, but here’s why I’ve asked them to join in.
Jodi Pyle: I can’t honestly remember how Jodi and I “met.” I think perhaps she started commenting on my blog posts, then maybe we followed each other on Twitter, then maybe we became Facebook friends. Oh, who knows. I just know she’s always been “there” for me, cheering on my wins and patting me on the back with kind words when times were bad. She is the woman with kind eyes who shares stories of her children, her faith and the great big move she’s about to make. And you know what else? She said I was one of the very first bloggers she ever followed, and had this to say about me:
I strive to be as open and honest as she is; she regularly inspires me and breaks my heart with her beautiful prose and willingness to be vulnerable.
I am so proud of Jodi for opening up her life, and I know I’ve enjoyed getting to know her better through her words. Maybe I should actually meet her in person before she moves out of state and all…
Alex: I have no idea what her last name is, but it doesn’t really matter. When I started ripping my soul open and letting it bleed onto my blog, she was one who reached out to me. A complete stranger who was drawn into my tragic tale, and didn’t just spectate from the sidelines. She engaged. She felt enraged. She actually cared, and didn’t just consume my posts as entertainment. I have such a fond spot in my heart for her for that alone, but after reading many of her posts, I can say I genuinely enjoy who she is. Funny, sincere, smart, sassy and caring.