Day 10 – “J” My Journey in Writing
I have been writing all my life. I was an avid reader from an early age, so writing my own stories to share with my family seemed like the most natural thing to me. My sister and I were constantly writing stories and plays together to perform for our parents, and channeled our inner “Little Women” when we reenacted our own Pickwick Society.
As a teen, I continued writing in my free time, and submitted a number of pieces to county fairs, winning first prize once for a short story; such a feeling of pride as a 12-year-old! Throughout college, my writing sadly dwindled as my studies took precedence. Last year was an insanely busy with moving into our first home and planning my wedding, and helping plan my best friend’s wedding. I am so thrilled that I am finally in a place where I have “me” time to reconnect with myself and write, write, write!
A friend and fellow blogger, Sutematsu, invited me to participate in a “Blog Hop” blog tour that she was invited to be a part of. Very excited to partake in this tour and am honored that she thought of me! Here goes nothing!
What am I working on?
I have recently completely revamped my blog and am really happy with how well things are going! I’m participating in the A-Z Challenge for the month of April which has been fantastic at getting me back into the groove of regular, daily writing. I was originally going to go with no theme for this challenge in which we write each day (excluding Sundays) on a topic starting with a letter of the alphabet. I started to see a recurring theme in my topics, and opted to go with posts that pertained to “self-discovery” in some sense. I’ve been throwing in some creative pieces as well, poems here and there, and am really enjoying the challenge so far! Overall, my blog allows me to write about a variety of different topics: random musings, poetry and short stories, recipes, travel writing, etc. I love the versatility of blogging!
Blogging aside, I’m currently working on my first novel. I’ve been researching and outlining like a crazy person for the last year or two, and am stoked to finally be nearing the stage where I feel confident enough in the development of my plot to actually start the writing process. I’ve been writing stories here and there that will find their way into my book, but I am still in the developmental stage for this, my first baby of a novel!
I write a lot of poetry, some of which finds it’s way onto my blog. I am getting close to having enough to put together a collection that I am hoping to have published in the near future. This has been a project that has been a work in progress over the past 5 years as I gradually add to my growing collection of what I consider my best poems.
In addition to creative writing, I do a great deal of freelance work. I’m currently working on an autobiography project in which I interview clients, transcribe those conversations and write up a lovely biography they can pass along to their family members for generations to come. I am so in love with this work. I had the opportunity to do this for my grandfather before he passed away and it is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. To put the stories of others down on paper and have that live on forever is such a beautiful and special thing.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It depends on what it is I’m writing. For my novel, the genre is a combination of contemporary and historic fiction, having two story lines that tie together with the chapters/books bouncing from one to the other as the story progresses and unfolds. A modified version of frame storytelling. I love to read books that have multiple layers that unfold as the story moves along, and strive to emulate that love in my writing.
My shorter pieces and poetry tend surround the theme of nature writing. I absolutely love being in the great outdoors and enjoying nature. My husband and I are near-religious hikers and backpackers and I find SO much to write about in my observations of the natural world. Not that this is necessarily a unique style of writing, but I love to take my personal experiences and describe those observations through words; using words that awaken the senses, to transport the reader to that exact rocky outcrop, to that glacier melt lake, to that trail tunneling through a green forest.
Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it. Plain and simple. I write about topics I am passionate about: nature, love, fears, of places and settings I have been to and enjoyed, of people and experiences I want to bring back to life.
I’ve found that writing is becoming increasingly cathartic for me and being able to relax and release tension in a way that is rewarding as well as productive is just wonderful. Writing is very important to me and I have learned along the way to incorporate writing into my work and other obligations equally, rather than other things coming first. If you can’t make something you love a top priority, you’re not going to be living a very fulfilling life! I’ve found that I’m so much happier and in tune with myself now that I have reevaluated my priorities and set attainable writing goals.
How does my writing process work?
I’m a compulsive, Type-A planner which can be seen through my obsessive research, outlining, plotting, storyboarding, etc, when I write. I have never been able to successfully write any thing longer than a few pages without some kind of outline. As a student, every single essay would first have a carefully written outline to ensure I did not hit any walls. My stories all have similar outlines, and my novel… I have countless notebooks filled with scribbles and lists, charts and sketches, dialogue samples, and blurbs to include in chapters of my book. So much planning! I fear the dreaded writers block with a passion. Outlining helps me ensure that I have a schedule to follow, a map to make certain I don’t veer off course. I certainly go back and add and modify what I write, but the primary map is set before I begin writing and I can’t think of any other way that would work for me.
What about you, fellow bloggers and writers?
What are your answers to the posed questions?
Up next week: