Hop On Board: Writing Process

She’s gone and done it! Yup, I’ve been drafted into a blog hop by Caitlin over at The Siren’s Tale. And it’s a topic dear to my heart: My Writing Process. As you know, I am always trying to figure out about my process and that of others.

I’m going to follow Caitlin’s lead and answer the same questions she did on her blog. Then I’m going to tag someone else so more writing secrets are shared ;).

A little about Caitlin, in case you haven’t made it over to her blog yet.  Caitlin’s blog began as a way for her to “reconnect” with herself. She was a writer, a college student, and more, when she realized through her blogging and writing that happiness for her meant homesteading. Toward that end, she is now learning about “agriculture, beekeeping, herbalism, and organic farming.”  Her blog will give you that feeling of satisfaction that comes with connecting with the land and all that is around you–of really living this life.

What am I working on as a writer?

On Writer Site I’m sharing memoir reviews on Thursdays. My focus is to find something I learned–generally about memoir writing–from reading each book. On Mondays I share stories from my life or posts about writing. I never lack for something to write about. That’s an advantage to having lived long enough that I have to find the positive in aging ;).  I tend not to participate in blog hops and writing prompts and awards (any longer) because I try to keep to this schedule. I made an exception for Caitlin and her great topic.

I am also writing a memoir called Scrap: Salvaging a Family. I like to say it’s about growing up over a bomb shelter and in front of the city dump, but as much of it takes place in the here-and-now as it does in the way-back-when. It’s a bit of a discovery process about family secrets, a bit of a mystery, and all about forgiveness. Also, this past year I put together my first manuscript of poetry, both in book form and in chapbook form. I am starting to send it out to contests, but I want to widen that to sending to publishers outside of the contest arena.

Why do I write what I do?

I write my blog entries because I love the sense of community on WordPress, and I love reading the blogs of others and getting feedback on my writing and my writing analyses from fellow bloggers. Also, blogging is a regular writing exercise that keeps my writing fit and in shape.

My book is a way to understand, discover, and contextualize my experience growing up and living within my family of origin. I hope it helps readers do the same with their own lives–and that they will enjoy reading my family’s odd version of events of the 20th century. My poetry stems from my love of language and sound, the thrill of shaping it, and an appreciation for the magical aspects of life.

How does my writing process look?

For blogging, I usually put the memoir I’m writing about next to my computer and start writing into the white space on the “new post” screen. Or I start writing my story. Or copy and paste a bit of writing I want to revise for a post. Very clean and easy.

Then there is my book writing. I write in Word, one scene at a time. When I feel that I’ve taken a scene as far as I can at that moment, I put it away and move on to another scene. But I always print out drafts, revise by hand, and then make the corrections on the computer. I revise over and over and over again, often times for several little changes each time. It’s a big tree waster, but one I can’t seem to avoid at this point in my writing. However, I do turn the pages over and re-print on the other side.

Poems sometimes start out by hand, but in general, I don’t have an affinity for writing by hand and wonder how Jane Austin ever did it.

 ###

For this blog tour, I’m tagging my two in-person writing buddies. These ladies and I share manuscripts and table goodies (not necessarily in that order).  Rudri at Being Rudri and Renee at Unpacked Writer both write wonderful blogs. I’m thrilled to share in the writing process of both Rudri and Renee!

What does your writing process look like?
What motivates you to write?

 

 

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27 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing goals

27 responses to “Hop On Board: Writing Process

  1. The phrase “hop on board” describes part of my preferred process. I start with excitement — lighting the coal in the engine — and then the train starts moving. I feed the engine more coal each day, the fire keeps burning, and the engine keeps moving down the track. While on that train I’m squishing and sculpting the wet clay of words. And later I’m doing the super-clean work of editing, like a hygienist.

    • WJ, I love how you went with that image! I can just see your creative brain trundling down the track! And the hygienist image is super interesting, in light of your background and mine!!

  2. Two thought on Hop On Board. I write a draft on paper first. I dislike the keyboard so much and I love old fashioned paper and pen. It adds to my writers mindset to have a pretty notebook and good pen. The second thought on Hop On Board is that I just finished drawing a Hoopoe (in Dutch a Hop) and that your blogpost headline made me bilingually think; Hop on board? Which Hop? ;-)

  3. I enjoyed learning more about your writing process, Luanne. My process isn’t very structured since I work outside the home full-time. I squeeze time in when I can throughout the day. The weekends are when I’m most productive…or try to be. :)
    Like you, I always print out drafts and revise my hand. There is something about pen and paper that makes me feel more creative.

    • I know what you mean about squeezing in writing time. There is that! I have been keeping a writing log, which I forgot to mention. And I try to jot down the amount of time spent each day on writing. There have been a horrific number of days like this in the last few weeks: ZERO. I always write it in upper case to jar myself. haha Jill, I just posted a link to a tiny little sample of my memoir that was published by River Teeth today. Link is up on my next post after this one.

  4. Great post! I am inspired by everything — a picture or story, a walk in nature, a talk with my daughter, people watching, a stone on the beach. As for process, I am challenging myself to keep my blog posts short (due to lack of time). But I actually find writing short is just as hard as writing long. Finding just that right word…honing in on what I want to say, you know what I mean! I agonize over every word.

    • I love your list of inspirations! I know what you mean. I don’t see how inspiration could ever dry up! Writing short is so hard. In my next post I have a link to a tiny piece published this morning by River Teeth. The word limit for their Beautiful Things column is 250 words. You should have seen me paring down. You would have thought I was a mad scientist the way I was pulling at my hair! Thanks for your great comments!!!

  5. I enjoy reading about your writing process. Like you, I write by scene and then I edit and re edit and repeat over and over! Usually, I work on the desktop, yet, I prefer to have a hardcopy in front of me to pencil in notes.

    Your Thursday memoir reviews are excellent and my TBR list is now loooong!

    The writing that you submitted to, River Teeth is beautiful, Luanne! The title you have chosen for your memoir is intriguing.

    • It probably sounds tedious to people who don’t work like we do–all the revising and editing over and over–but it seems fun when I’m doing it! Yes, a hardcopy for notes for sure! I notice that I miss problems more easily when I read a hard copy than when I read on the screen.
      I know. My list is too long, too, and WordPress is always conspiring to make it longer! Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my piece over there, Lynne!!! I think the title carries a lot of connotations and denotations that fit my story. Once I selected it, I’ve felt very good about it. Like a good fitting shoe ;).

      • The title of your book appears “perfect.” When I read the title, I thought – wow. I am struggling with a title for my writing. It bothers me that I haven’t been able to come up with a suitable one, seems to me that I need to go back and think of my story’s “pitch.” Perhaps, map it out some more and then search through quotes for snippets of words that might work as a title or inspiration for a title! Titles hook me in to leaf through a book. By the way, the Groupon course is a lot of work and it is packed full of helpful information. Each module is lengthy- 3 hours of study! I am starting module 4. Tomorrow! Today I’m off to Costco to pick up my new glasses- lol!
        Always great to hear from you!
        x

  6. When brainstorming for a poem, I always write with a pen on paper…it frees me in a way that the keyboard does not. But when it comes time to structure the thing, it’s Word all the way.

    • That makes perfect sense to me. I do think I work best for poetry with pen and paper as the initial step. some of my best poems have even been started away from home with pen and paper. But then I quickly have to move to screen. Word is fabulous . . . .

  7. Maybe there is enough of the “old school” in us that makes us still like to work on paper, but I feel the same when I’m working with a new scene. Later, I like to edit the smaller bits in Word, but an old notebook works well for me at the start. Good to hear that you like paper too.

    • You know what I used to do that I really liked too? Cut up the papers by scene or idea (depending on story of essay) and then move them around and tape them back together! So much better than cut-and-paste on Word, especially for certain things. I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes paper!!

  8. Thanks for tagging me, Luanne. Happy to participate.

  9. Yay, I loved this! It was so great to learn more about the process behind your writing. I find memoir writing so interesting, and I’ve always been curious how authors dig into their pasts to pull out the best/most interesting/share-worthy tales.

  10. I enjoyed the writing life tour, Luanne – as well as a peek at Rudri’s blog!

  11. Thank you for sharing your process, Luanne! I would be like you, taking my time, putting one scene into words to add to the others in my memoir, if I were to write one! I also, like to use pen and paper first, then type and preview it on wordpress. There is always something a little ‘imperfect’ in my process. My results aren’t always as I seem to think they will be. Only occasionally, will all things flow out and come out satisfying to me! Smiles, Robin

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