I was asked to participate in Blog Hop—Writers Writing by Ana Hays and Susan MacLaughlin through our mutual affiliation with A Band of Women. A Band of Women recently published their second anthology, Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 73 Women on Life’s Transitions. My essay, “Bloom Where You are Planted,” appears in this anthology. Check it out at Amazon.
So you’re probably asking yourself, "What’s Blog Hop?" Blog Hop is a way for bloggers to pay it forward, if you will. Selected bloggers answer four writing-related questions and then spotlight three bloggers on their blog/website. A week later, those three bloggers answer the questions on their website/blog and spotlight three more writers, and so on and so on. My responses to the writing prompts are listed below, followed by the bios and photos of three great bloggers whom I’m blessed to know. I hope you’ll check out their sites and - if you’re a blogger - consider getting involved. It’s a great opportunity to publicize your writing, meet other bloggers and pay it forward!
What am I working on/writing?
A few things: I am consistently improving upon my blog, "CeliacSavvy," written for those on a gluten-free diet. I’m also an editor and proofreader. I had the pleasure of copyediting Laura Ponticello’s Live the Life of Your Dreams—33 Tips for Inspired Living. Editing other writers’ manuscripts gives me a huge sense of satisfaction as I like to see my clients be the best writers they can be. Since I’m still somewhat new to the Central New York area, I’m continuing to network and add to my list of contacts. I’m also giving serious thought to writing a book.
How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?
I think every writer brings his or her own voice to their work, and I’m no different. While I consider myself a social person, I’m always observing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the ability to look at people and situations beyond face value and recognize that there’s more to that person - and their story - than what is presented initially. I think my ability to do this is more than just “writer’s intuition” if you will, but rather, a result of various life experiences and the ability to relate to people in a variety of situations. Of course, it also helps to ask the right questions at the right time.
Why do I write what I do?
Well, you know those stories that you hear about writers hearing voices in their heads and a need to get things out on paper? They’re all true...seriously, though, I think I write what I do because I don’t know how not to. Some stories just need to be told.
How does my writing process work?
I don’t really know that I have a process, per se. While some of my work has been of the typical "write what you know" variety, it certainly doesn't mean that I haven’t covered a subject with which I am unfamiliar (though on that note, I don’t think I’ll ever write about politics again…).
I think the key is to find out what works for you and just stick with it. I prefer to write first thing in the morning and don’t subscribe to the idea that you should sit in your home office all day in your pajamas. Set an alarm on your phone and get up every once in a while to stretch; meet a friend for lunch; take a walk; go for a little retail therapy - anything to jump start your brain once again and defeat the dreaded writer's block. (And by all means people, if you prefer to take your laptop to the local coffee shop to write, wear something other than pajamas.) The bottom line for me is whether I’m writing about gluten-free cupcakes, interviewing an expert or spotlighting a local business, there's excitement in discovering an idea and watching it take shape in my mind until it becomes a reality on the page. If it's been written about before, there’s no threat there - just put a fresh spin on it. You’re only limited by your own creativity.
Next week's Blog Hop bios of writers who will answer the same four questions I answered are: Renee A. James, Michele McIntyre, and Gwen Moran.
Renee A. James
Renee A. James works at Rodale Inc. and also wrote an award-winning op-ed column for The Morning Call, Allentown, PA, for almost 10 years. Her columns have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant. Her essays were included in two humor anthologies: 101 Damnations: A Humorists’ Tour of Personal Hells (Thomas Dunne Books, 2002) and May Contain Nuts (Perennial, Harper Collins, 2004). Her work has also appeared in The Women's Quarterly and Tango Magazine. She invites you to 'Like' her Facebook page, where she celebrates—and broods about—life on a regular basis, mostly as a voice in the crowd that shouts, “Really? You’re kidding me, right?” (Or wants to, anyway), and welcomes your suggestions, comments, and feedback to the mix.
Michele McIntyre is a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness and healthy living/eating. She is happiest when lying face up on the treatment table, writing about her spa and travel experiences or testing new products to share with her readers. Check out her work at http://www.examiner.com/x-12938-Spa-Examiner . Michele is a regular travel contributor to LivingBetterat50+ and GoGirlfriend.com and has written for Today’s Central New York Woman Magazine and online at Tripology and TripAtlas. When she isn't writing about or visiting spas, Michele loves traveling, hiking, skiing, camping, yoga and reading. She lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son. If any of these pursuits can be combined with a visit to the spa, even better! Michele can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gwen Moran writes about business, money and life from her home near the Jersey shore – the beautiful place much-maligned by a certain television show. She’s been honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Influencer Awards for her accomplishments in entrepreneurship and writing. But, wait! There’s more! Gwen is also an accomplished humorist, and has written funny stuff for The Chicago Tribune, Skirt!, First for Women, Entrepreneur, and others. Her essays were included in the humor anthology, The Kid Turned Out Fine. She blogs about business, money and life at Biziversity.com. You can also find more of her work and insights on Twitter at @gwenmoran. For the business-only profile, check out LinkedIn. She lives with her husband, daughter, and beloved Labrador retriever. The four of them are bullied by two spoiled cats.