Hi, remember me? Yeah, I know it’s been four months since I last touched this blog and five months since I actually wrote anything. Hopefully this post will help blow the dust off this place, it felt really good to sit down and write this afternoon.
Brandie from A Journey of 1000 Stitches begins with just one stitch noticed this Soapboxville has been rather quiet as of late and challenged me to write about my writing process as part of the Blog Tour. Before I get to the Q & A portion of the Blog Tour and tell you about my writing process let me tell you a little about Brandie. 1. She’s amazing in so many ways. 2. She’s kind. I mean really and truly genuinely kind. 3. She’s smart. 4. She knits. 5. She sews. 6. She walks, and not only does she walk she walks for charity. She walked the Avon 2-day for breast cancer 3 years in a row. That’s badass all the way around, especially because she did so while recovering from breast cancer. 7. And last but definitely not least, she’s a great mom. I’m always amazed by all the great things she does with her kids.
I met Brandie on Twitter back when I was newly diagnosed with skin cancer. Mine was a complicated case (because why not?). It wasn’t the, “Oh you have basal cell? Isn’t that the good kind?” type so I didn’t really fit into any established skin cancer support groups. Blessedly the women of the Breast Cancer Social Media (#bcsm) allowed me to join in their Twitter chats and that’s where I met my kind, compassionate, inclusive, sweet friend.
Okay, so now on to the Q & A portion, where I tell you all about my writing process.
What are you working on right now?
I wish I could tell you that I am working on some big writing project. I wish I could tell you that I am doing any writing at all. Sadly, I’m not.
But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been flexing my creative muscles. This summer my focus is on learning to take better portraits. As an extension of this I am hoping to in the fall schedule a few days of free portraits for anyone who wants them at local parks or on the beach. I don’t know if I’ll have any takers and I certainly can’t promise professional quality photos (I don’t have the equipment) but I’m hoping for at least a few takers.
Right now I’m reading photography books and websites, watching free videos through Creative Live, and practicing on a small scale with Charlie Brown as part of my One Object Challenge for the year.
Hmmm…. Writing about all of this would probably make for good blog content. I’ll have to get on that.
How does my writing differ from others of its genre?
First, I don’t think I have a genre. If there were an Island of Misfit Blogs that is where Soapboxville would live alongside the Misfit Toys.
Second, I’ve been paid two incredible compliments in the course of my life: 1. No one raises a righteous anger quite like me. And 2. I write in a raw and honest fashion. That’s me, I tell the truth. I’m sure there are those who believe these are character flaws rather than compliments but I disagree.
I suppose what separates Soapboxville from other blogs is the fact that you are just as likely to read about what I watched on TV last night, as you are politics. I’m liberal and opinionated, read at your own risk.
Why do I write what I do?
This is a great question, to which I have multiple answers. The simple one-size-fits-all answer would simply be I want my voice to be part of the discourse. I want to be part of the great discussion.
In more specific terms…
I can only write what is in my heart. I can only write about the things about which I’m most passionate.
When I write about politics I want to add my voice to the discussion. I want to be part of the great debate. I don’t particularly care if you think I’m right, in fact I think I have much to learn from those who think differently than I.
When I wrote about my cancer I wrote for two reasons.
First, it gave me something to be accountable to every day. It was something I had to accomplish each and every day. The 2011 blog feature, 365 Days of Carol Anne is one of my proudest accomplishments solely because I finished. I wrote my way through it all. 365 Days of Carol Anne also provided a way for me to explain to myself what was going on and what transpired each day. There was a lot to take in so it was good to have a place to reread when I needed clarity.
Second, as a new cancer patient there’s so much you just don’t know and there’s so much your medical professionals aren’t going to tell you. The blogs of other cancer patients and other cancer survivors left breadcrumb trails for me to follow. I made it out of the forest because others led the way. I hope that by honestly writing my way through my cancer journey I too can leave a breadcrumb trail for those who unfortunately come after me.
How does my writing process work?
Let’s get this out in the open right away. I am the most undisciplined writer/blogger you’ll ever meet. I don’t plan; I don’t have an editorial calendar; I don’t make outlines or write rough drafts of posts. I am however that writer/blogger who breaks the-don’t-revise-as-you-write rule. I absolutely cannot allow bad grammar or spelling or bad sentence structure to linger on the page. I’m well aware this is not exactly conducive to being an efficient or prolific writer/blogger. I’m also well aware that I often get in my own way.
I handwrite everything. I cannot compose at the keyboard. I cannot think sitting in front of a computer screen. The glow of my laptop screen does not inspire me, unless I’m writing about something I just read in an online news report and I’m all fired up at that exact moment.
I am an all or none writer/blogger. I’m passionately opinionated, hot or cold, black or white. I have to be inspired to sit down and write. I have to be fired up about the topic. I’m more focused when I’m fired up.
I believe that for writing to be honest and real it has to be written in the moment right then and there.
So there you have it, the whys and wherefores of my writing and writing process. Thank you Brandie for challenging me to sit down and write, it’s been too many months and it felt great to stretch my writing muscles.
I’m not going to challenge anyone because I really don’t know any other bloggers. I will, however, go challenge my brother Tommy Gunzz over on Facebook. I think I need to remedy this in the coming months because conversing and corresponding with other writers/bloggers is a good way to boost your creativity.