Open Call for Writers Writing

What are you working on/writing?

How does your writing/work differ from others in its genre?

Why do you write what you do?

How does your writing process work? 

— Blog hop questions

Audrey Kalman was kind enough to invite me to join a blog hop. Thank you Audrey. 

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Audrey’s blog, “Writing of Many Kinds

While I generally shy away from this kind of thing, the questions are estimable. How does my writing differ from others’ in the same genre? Would I really want to ‘fess up about my process (best described as scattershot)? How do other people go about writing?

Checked back to see how past participants handled this meme.  Here is bestselling author Laura Munson in an introduction to her answers:

Writing is just what I do—it’s how I’m wired. I’m no good at getting to the gym or balancing my checkbook, but I know what it is to sit at the intersection of heart and mind and craft that is the writing life, and I’ve done it with all my might for a long time.

Turns out…this is an uncommon way to live. Not a lot of people know how to climb into that uncomfortable but enchanted playground and play, skin their knee, fall off the merry-go-round, pump so hard on the swing they swear their sneakers touch the sky.

Here’s esssayist, editor and memoirist Ana Hayes:

When I am beginning a new chapter or essay, I start by writing with pen and paper. Then I type my pages into my MacBook Air. This is my first step in rewriting. And then I rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite until I feel like there’s nothing else to rewrite.

It was inspiring.

So, I wrote back to Audrey to say — Sure. Let’s do this. She gave me a date to post. When her week came, she previewed the next featured writers — Darlene Frank and yours truly, and posted her answers, which are awesome and funny.

I write every day. I floss regularly, exercise 40 minutes 4 times a week, and get at least 8 hours of sleep.

One of those statements is true. Ask my dentist.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, it was time to pass the baton to other writers. First on my list was Kristin Ohlson, whose book The Soil Will Save Us, shook up my thinking.

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Too late. Kristin had already been tapped:  “Some Thoughts on Writing.”

Checked in with essayist and novelist Anna Willman, who is blogging about walking across the country, three miles at a time, and has published a series of Regency romances as well as literary fiction.

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Sorry, Anna wrote. Too busy writing and walking.

How about my friend Valerie, who co-chairs the Mid-Valley Willamette Writers and recently released a memoir, Smell the Blue Sky?

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Nope, no time either. How about Tess of “How the Cookie Crumbles,” currently entertaining her 1000+ followers with tales of her visit to China?

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Cookie Crumbles header with Gingko for those of us whose cookies are crumbling

Already tapped. See Writing Process Blog Meme

You get the picture. As nominees politely declined, my week to post — expired!

But a strange thing happened along the way. I got into reading about why and how others write, and want to read more.

Let’s open this meme.

Have you already participated? Leave your link in the comments and I’ll stop by and read about how, why and what your write.

Want to participate for the first time? Answer the questions on your blog or website, then leave a link. I’ll visit. While you’re here, check out two or more writers who leave links. Keep the ball rolling by inviting more writers, and feature your nominees on your blog. It’s fun to see who is putting up great posts.

Again, the questions are:

1. What are you working on/writing?

2. How does your writing/work differ from others in its genre?

3. Why do you write what you do?

4. How does your writing process work?

Cheers!

17 comments

  • I’ve shied away from the blog hops (always enough on my plate as it is), but I enjoy reading about other writers’ processes. Shows how differently–and also how similarly–we all approach the craft.

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    • It is fun to read about how others go about this writing business. You are smart to protect your writing time though. It is precious.

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  • Well done! You have turned what can so easily become a silly and constrained exercise into a lovely invitation for all writers to read about and contemplate what underlies their craft. Thank you for “thinking outside the blog hop.” 🙂 I look forward to checking out the other writers you linked to and seeing if we can get more to stop by and take part.

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    • Thanks again Audrey. This process has shaken me up in some ways, gotten me to look at blogs I follow, and why, and to really think about how to focus and use my time effectively.

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    • Ha ha! Not sure whether the genre question is about blog-writing, which for me hasn’t settled into a genre but just wanders around, against all advice from blog coaches — or fiction writing, which is — sort of cozy mystery, sort of Jonathan Franzen. In other words, in need of polishing no matter how you cut it. That’s my excuse today. Also, it doesn’t seem right to answer the questions when I haven’t yet found someone to hand off to.

      Just read your answers, and am inspired.

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      • The beauty of blog writing is the meandering freedom – how much what the experts say matters probably depends on your reasons for doing it. I believe blog writing has its own place and rules and structure, like any other writing. Its just new and still finding its place in the wider pool.

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  • Hi Julia,
    Nice to meet you! I’ve been checking for your post and figured you were taking a writing holiday for the Fourth! I love how you opened up the hop to invite a larger circle. I had looked at some of the earlier links, too, and noticed how different we all are, yet so much alike. BTW, I don’t there’s an expiration date if you should decide to answer the questions! 🙂

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    • That’s right! I haven’t answered the questions (smack head). Still, feel honor bound to find at least ONE person to hand the baton to before participating. Thanks for visiting Darlene.

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  • I am behind in my ‘correspondence’ and my e-mail box is jammed full again… I need to find time to read and sift through the mail – both electronic and snail mail. I find the questions intriguing because, well I’m really not working on anything – the blog is a place to practice writing and thinking and has morphed into its present state since I began blogging in summer 2010. Also the way I have met several fascinating folks like you and I enjoy reading what you are thinking and writing. I’ll mull the questions and form a post, in the mean time, I need to sort the mail, mow the grass, and reclaim my home after a vacation of sorts….. cheers.

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  • Hurray! Give me a date when you’d like to post. I’ll answer the questions myself, and include a link to you. Send me a photo, and a brief bio.

    You nail it on vacations ‘of sorts.’ So often getting away means just doing a different kind of work. Enjoy your summer, and promise that you’ll sit on a lawn chair with a tinkling glass of something after you finish mowing the lawn.

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  • I love what you did to this post Julia! What a great idea to open it up to other writers.
    What is my writing process? Hmm. That’s a good question. Truth be told, I am a plotser. If that makes any sense to you. I am writing a story that takes place 40 years ago, bookended in the present. It’s a clean reads romance that takes place along the California coast. Since it is not a mystery, suspense thriller, so it may be boring to some, but I like it. I’m a newbie, so it’s taking me a while to restructure and learn the craft. I am up to the challenge of both writing and finding the time to write. lol. 🙂

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    • There’s a huge market for clean romance and legions of potential loyal followers. A plotser as opposed to a plotter? Is that the female form? A plot sister? In which case will you be mine? Glad to hear that I’m not the only finding the learning curve steep and long.

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  • I like this. I will do this, but not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but it is simmering on the back burner, and when it makes sense, it will be posted and linked and all those other bloggy things.

    Your profile description strikes a chord of truth to me. I know I’m a writer, but there are so many types of writing, not to mention genres within the types, or types within the genres (?) anyway, it can be a confusing business, especially since we do it for the love, not the money.

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    • Let me know when you’d like to post. I will answer the questions myself, and feature your blog with a link. Thanks for visiting.

      I agree. In this media saturated, screen dominated, changing at the speed of light world, this kind of writing is like squeezing a dropper of water into the ocean. It’s fun and it’s weird.

      Liked by 1 person

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