Non bloggers will be bewildered. Or you know… not care at all. But bloggers will now be familiar with the blog hop thingy going around. Akin to the flu or measles. ‘Cept less debilitating.
I’ve been tagged by the lovely Lee-Anne to share ‘Why I write’. It’s actually come at a good time as it forced me to (properly) consider some stuff I’ve been pondering over recent weeks. And – for that reason I’ve reordered my questions a little!
Why do I write?
Short answer: Because I have to!
Longer answer… I think I love writing for the same reason I love reading. I love words. Although I dislike poetry and am not a stylistic writer (I doubt I’ll ever be criticised for being too descriptive) I love the way words fit together. I love phrases and sentences. And – although more so when I was writing speeches and the like – I’m an iambic pentameter freak and tend to be a bit anal about the rhythm of a sentence. (And prone to add a pesky adverb or ten for that very reason!)
I’m not a visual person. At all. And although I’ve got fairly good interpersonal skills, I feel more comfortable writing than speaking.
It’s cathartic. My mind is very busy and writing helps organise my thoughts and provides me with the clarity I often need.
What I’m working on
At the moment – other than some freelance writing and blogging for work / business – the only writing I’m doing are my own blog posts. I’ve written before about ‘Why I blog’ and this hasn’t changed. I love writing and am struggling to work out what (else) I want to write.
However… I’ve recently been considering the direction of my blogging. I did my first and only paid post of the year recently and someone commented negatively about the fact I’d done it (saying it sounded like a promotion. Which of course it was!). I’d clearly marked it with disclaimers but nonetheless the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. Initially quite upset, I eventually realised it probably just clarified something in my mind – that I really wanted my blog to be MINE.
Sure I’ll write newsletters, online content or blog posts for others. But I’ve decided my blog is mine. I’ve also decided that I’m cutting back. I’ve realised blogging will really only ever be a hobby for me ( which is how it began back in January 2009).
But (or So?) I’m taking a step back. I’m hoping to focus more on ‘other’ writing. I’m going to reopen my Young Adult novel I started years ago, and think more about creative writing opportunities. As an (albeit related) aside… I have to admit the notion of screenwriting really interests me although am not quite sure how to pursue this little fantasy!
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?
In the blogging arena I like to think I don’t take myself too seriously. However, I believe one of my greatest weaknesses (as a blogger) is that I don’t really have a genre. Or rather a blogging niche. Although I experienced great relief on closing my diet blog early this year, I lost a lot of followers and readers.
Debbish is a bit like me. One day it’ll be introspective and I’ll be pondering the meaning of life; and the next I’ll share a sarcastic rant about something fairly inconsequential.
And then there are the book reviews which I’m LOVING. It combines two of my three greatest passions (reading and writing)! I am conscious however, that my biggest weakness on that front is probably also my biggest strength. My self-absorption means that I inject quite a bit of ‘me’ into my reviews. If I was more professional I’d minimise the smart-arse comments and personal anecdotes, but I like to think it makes the reviews a tad more interesting. 😉
How does my writing process work?
When I started my Young Adult novel, I downloaded a template to help me flesh out my somewhat-small idea. It seems that in writing – like in life – I’m a planner. Not a pantser (ie. someone who
flies writes by the seat of their pants).
When writing for others I’m fairly methodical in thinking about key messages and the ‘arc’ of the piece. My background in project management (not to mention endless report and briefing note writing while in government) has reinforced the basic structure of ensuring I have conclusions or recommendations or some sense of closure at the end.
And yet, when it comes to blogging I’m all over the friggin’ place. Because I’m reading books not due out for months and months (I recently read something due out in November) and I can’t publish the review until just before their release, I’m finally using a planning calendar on my blog.
However, I’m constantly moving things around and have a ridiculously huge number of half-finished blogs. One of the reasons I write is to get something out of my head (and find some clarity to whatever’s plaguing me!). As a result many suddenly-urgent posts have overtaken their planned predecessors.
Of course quite often I later read over the post and wonder what the fuck I was thinking. But… oh well…
We’re supposed to tag a few people, but I’m just tagging one – a good blogging friend who I’ve never met in person (though we have skyped!) – Jo from And Anyways... Jo divides her time between her career and family, her blogs and other writing commitments. I know she’s been very busy of late so may need a bit of time for this but… I for one am keen to hear what she’s working on at the moment.
Are you an aspiring writer?
As an aside… Do you believe anyone who ‘writes’ is a writer?