The lovely Lauren of Crumbbums invited me to be a part of this blog hop on writing habits. I don't usually do challenges like these, but I adore Lauren and her writing and the honesty one encounters on her blog. Not only is Lauren a mother of three wild and free boys, she is a gardener, homemaker and a very stylish heart-breaker, a reader of books and an endless source of inspiration for me. Her big heart and sincerity win me over every time, whether it's about her clothes, or her parenting style.
Her invite came at a very good time for me, as the topic of writing and creativity is really close to my heart this fall, as I prepare to take on more writing duties and make more time for writing in my life.
What Am I Working On
What am I not working on? Currently, I'm writing a series of articles on small home living for NEST mag, doing some freelance journalism and editing, working on my novel and thinking of ideas for how to realize some of the short films I've been wanting to make. I'm always working on a lot of different ideas at once. What I lack in singular focus, I more than make up with a variety of inspirations.
And then there's this blog. As much as I wanted to write longer pieces for it this year, the runaway horse has gotten the best of me, with the exception of a few select posts. I always have a lot of drafts on ideas, what moves me, what I want to write about, but most often, I write, if not in the spur of the moment, then at least in a sort of inspired chaos.
I've actually been thinking about how I'd like this blog to be as a part of my creative self and have been working on the changes I want to make. I know it's almost nostalgic to my readers how little this space has changed in the last six years, but I'm starting to feel like it could use a little airing out.
How Does My Work Differ From Others In Its Genre
Writing in a language that is not native to me, can be both an asset and an obstacle. On the one hand, I feel like I'm much more curious, receptive and enamored with English than many of its native speakers, on the other, it can sometimes hinder my self-expression and make me doubt my creative process. Writing in what will always be essentially a foreign language, no matter how fluent I get adds a little extra layer to my work.
It's taken me a long time to realize that others don't' necessarily view the world as I do, think the same way, or make the same connections. Aquarians are apparently often forward thinking, ahead of their time, eccentric and on the margins, and that has often been the case for me with my creative process. I'm really good at putting things together, finding connections, seeing things from a variety of angles. I wish I could say it always works in my advantage, but that is not necessarily the case.
On this blog, I try to be honest and sincere even as I, like most bloggers, often focus on the positive and the beautiful. Sadly, I think that actually makes my writing here quite different from most blogs. There's not a lot of blogs out there that combine the two, as well as not having a particular agenda beyond the simple act of allowing a peek into another's life and connecting with folks interested in similar things.
Why Do I Create What I Do
I don't really know how else to make sense of the world. Writing is a very basic need for me, even though I don't feel like it comes easily to me. I have a very dichotomous relationship with this medium. I can't stop doing it, but I often wish I could.
How Does My Writing Process Work
I have lot of things on the back burner, endless ideas, snippets and characters in the pantry. Filing away information, associations, dialogue, polarities, is like second nature to me. The older I get, the more actual notes I take, but I'm always noting things, even when I don't realize it. I'm also always writing. It's almost an involuntary reflex; if I'm not thinking about something specific, or focusing on a task, I'm writing in my head. Over the years I've gotten better about it, being more mindful of the moment, not constantly revising imaginary events, or passively observing my surroundings, but it's still kind of my default mode.
When I finally sit down to my computer and write, it sometimes seems more fluent than it ought to, because parts of the work are already written out in my head. I revise as I go, something a lot of writing teachers and books about writing advice against, but it works for me. I usually start out by working on one piece and then editing a whole different one. There are chapters in my novel I have revised, or almost completely re-written dozens of times. Part of this comes from my dyslexia, but mostly it's simply a need to wring out the best possible book, story, chapter, paragraph, or sentence, my brains and bones can muster.
Writing is pretty much the only pursuit where my perfectionist tendencies come out. I hate mediocrity, half-baked ideas, or laziness around language. I'm constantly editing everything I read, and have insanely high standards when it comes to liking and loving books, articles and essays. While I'm pretty critical of the works of others, it only reflects how hard I am on my own work. In fact, I've almost never written anything I thought was good enough. Blogging has been really good for my compulsivity around writing, since it's all about letting less than perfect pieces escape into the world.
It's also taught me a lot about inspiration, most importantly that you can coax it. That truly, if you just sit on your ass and keep typing, eventually the very mundane part of it usually falls away, allowing room for creativity.
As the rules of the hop mandate I've asked Inge if she would care to share the process behind her crisp, carefully crafted observations, which range from sweet to the dead-serious. As another non-native English speaker, I've enjoyed her pieces on creativity, nature and sustainable clothing tremendously and as someone who has a tendency to ramble on, I love her simpler, to-the-point-eloquent writing style.
However, I would love to hear from all of you writers and how your process works! Emmanuelle, Maria, Mary, Julie and all, it would be love to read your thoughts on the matter.