Thanks to Luanne Castle, my friend, critique partner and fellow blogger for tagging me in this meme. Please visit Luanne at Writer’s Site for her insightful book reviews and interesting observations. Luanne is a MFA graduate, published poet, and fiction and memoir writer. For the last 4 years, she is one of the few people that has read snippets of my memoir and offered her critique. She enjoys the craft of writing and her imagery and emotional connection resonates in all her pieces. I am grateful and honored that she supports my writing and offers generous and constructive feedback.
Here is my writing process:
What am I working on as a writer?
The main focus of my writing is my memoir. This work centers on my relationship with my father and how my family and I tried to navigate his terminal illness in secret for almost 4 years. It is an excavation of relationships, grief and how cultural elements played a pivotal role in decisions my father made regarding his cancer battle.
I am the on-line editor and regular contributor for First Day Press, a print and on-line journal that focuses on beauty, faith, journey, and growth. In addition, I regularly contribute to freelance sites across the web.
Writing and living are companions. I am working on myself as I write. I write not not only to improve my craft, but it is also my attempt to gain awareness of my flaws and strengths and how I can become a better person.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Writing is all about finding that new angle, right? I am not so sure anymore. So much of our experiences are so universal and that is what I hope to convey in my writing. I am uncertain that I am adding anything new to the choir that already exists, but I do know my voice is mine and in it I hope to reveal my own struggles and triumphs.
Why do I write what I do?
When I started writing in this space, years ago, it was an attempt to cope with my father’s passing. I couldn’t make sense of what happened to my father and I looked to writing as therapy. As I continued to navigate the complexities of my grieving process, I also started writing about the gratitude that I felt in living. I focus on the joys of simple things, like breathing, walking and participating in the everyday “mundane.” This new appreciation occurred in mini-epiphanies. It happens when I look at the mountains, witness a smile from my daughter or when I read a book. There is so much that is sacred about the ordinary, yet we take so much of it for granted.
How does my writing process look?
In my head, I am writing all the time. When I am running errands, going for a jog, picking up my daughter from school, I am constantly observing. Sometimes a person or an observation resonates with me. I let those thoughts simmer in my head and then I start composing a post.
I write when I can. Sometimes I write early in the morning after a run; other times, I stay up late after my family is sleeping. I am a deadline oriented person, so I set goals for my writing day. Whether it a freelance article or working on my memoir, I try to write everyday. By doing so, I am able to stay in the creative world even while I am balancing motherhood. I also am very protective of my time and need a healthy amount of solitude to really sink into my writing.
Next on the writing tour:
I am so excited to hear about Cecilia of Only You write about her process. I often read Cecilia’s writing and nod my head in agreement. She is forthcoming about her ups and downs and my admiration for her grows every time she reveals her personal truths and worries. So often, these are the same things that runs marathons in my head, but I have not mustered the courage to reveal my thoughts.
Cecilia also offers an inside track on books that she is reading and I’ve often added to my reading list based on her recommendations. I am grateful to have intersected with Cecilia and her writing.