my writing process {a blog-hop}

My new blogging buddy Karissa tagged me in a blog-hop about my writing process. Karissa writes some wonderful things over at her blog, about faith, her conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy (so very interesting for me… having grown up in the pentecostal church, and brainwashed into believing other denom’s weren’t really ‘christian’), her childhood growing up on the mission field, amongst other things. Head over and check out her blog!

So after I figured out what a blog-hop was (amateur blogger here) I had a little a think about what my writing process is… so here goes!


A bit about me…

I am hesitant to call myself a ‘writer’, because all the energy I expend writing is channeled here into this blog space. I don’t have any plans to write books or make money from my writing as yet (yes, I can hear the unanimous laughter from all the writers out there at the thought of making money from writing!) Unlike some people who use a blog as a platform for other writing projects, or as a way of promoting their business or as a a subsection of a larger website (all legitimate pursuits, of course) this space here is more of a journal than a how-to or a six-steps-to-something. It’s more of an ongoing memoir, as I journey through faith and life-related things.

The thing I love about it is the connections I’ve been able to make with like-minded people. I love that feeling of reading words from another blogger, and completely relating to their words with a resounding “Yes! Me too! I feel that, I get that!”

I’m a bit of a contradiction sometimes. I’m a natural challenger of the status quo, but I hate the conflict that those challenges potentially create, and the way that can strain relationships with people who might disagree with me, so I’m trying to find a balance between sharing my thoughts in a gentle way, but not being silenced out of fear of rocking the boat. Somewhere along the way I learned that I have to please everyone and have everyone like me, so sometimes my writing is a way of unlearning that. It’s hard.


What am I writing or working on?

I have a couple of posts swirling around in my head at any given moment, the themes I’m working with currently are mostly centered around faith and doubt: leaving behind old patterns of thinking; grieving the easy, certain belief system I used to be able to subscribe to; what it really means to have ‘faith like a child’ (hint: I don’t think it’s what I was always taught to believe it means!). I also have a couple half-finished posts relating to my personal growth and formation/transformation in terms of my personality, and false beliefs about ‘who I am’. At the moment my struggle is in finding the long stretches of uninterrupted time that I need to fully allow my brain to unfurl and empty itself of the words it contains.

I’m also working on another section of my blog where I am inviting guest contributors to share a story with my readers, it’s tentatively titled ‘The Story Exchange’ and the general brief is to share stories that have shaped us, whether positively or negatively or a bit of both. Our stories matter, and so my goal is to open up a space where these stories, however insignificant or however difficult, can be heard. I think telling our stories can be an incredibly therapeutic engagement, and can be a catalyst for others’ healing, too.

A life, in its most simple expression,  is one long chain of interconnected stories, and my intention is to host a space where these individual links can be highlighted. So I hope you will consider contributing – you don’t need to be a blogger or even a writer to participate. I’d like to make it a weekly spot, but we will see how submissions go first! (Oh, and if you have any suggestions for a better name, let me know in the comments).


How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?

I rely heavily on image and metaphor, and I have a poetic streak, so I guess my style is not very straightforward (this post is probably the most straightforward I have ever done). What even is my genre? I don’t really fall into the ‘mummy blogger’ category (ugh, I hate that term anyway), or the faith blogger category, or any sort of ‘expert’ category. I don’t know… maybe I’m still trying to find my niche? I circle in and around the broader topics of faith and personality formation, but I haven’t even been blogging for a year so I guess I’m still in infancy.

I suppose if I had to narrow it down I would say my point of difference is that blogging is my art, and my creative outlet. It’s a record and a journal, yes. But more than that, it’s a way for me to imprint my heart into the world.


How does my writing process work?

Quite sporadically! I have gone months without posting, and then will punch out three in a week. But I usually have a couple of posts in the works at any one time. Generally for me, my brain will be working on a particular theme, and I let it sit there for a while, to mellow and develop. Usually ideas and concepts and themes take a little while to reach fruition. It’s like a slow dripping tap, constantly “plink-plink-plinking” in the recesses of my mind, and eventually I will get to the point where I will start putting words down. Usually on the screen rather than paper – it’s quicker. (Though I do find pen and paper invaluable for those times where you just want to get thoughts out without editing, as it’s harder to do!)

There are often multiple threads hanging loose up there, so it’s a matter of trying to pick the appropriate ones and then attempting to weave them into something that makes sense to not only me, but to you, too – did I mention that metaphors are my jam?! – I’m an INFJ so most of my thinking is very visual, and it’s difficult for me to explain a concept or a feeling without pictures.

Writing Apparatus from Flickr via Wylio
No, I don’t draft my blog posts with a turquoise quill on beautiful parchment! [© 2010 Kaushik Narasimhan, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio]

What other writers would i like to introduce you to?

Hope @ Pursuing the Beauty: Hope is a poet and a mystic and a faithful doubter, she writes beautiful words. She also takes sublime photographs.

Rhianne @ Attempting Infinite Puzzles: Rhianne is new to blogging, so go show her some love, subcribe to her feed and leave her an encouraging comment.

Sheri Dacon @ Lyrics for Life: Sheri started blogging at the same time as me, but she’s so much more committed to it! She is such a treasure, and has been so supportive. Sheri writes about faith and church and special needs kids (autism specific). She is a staunch advocate for special-needs inclusion in church and children’s ministry.

Hope, Rhianne and Sheri, if you’d like to participate in the blog hop, just do what I did! If you’ve already done something similar recently then please don’t feel pressured.

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