I don’t normally participate in blog hops. But when Janie Emaus invited me to share my writing process with you I couldn’t say no.
1. Why do I write what I do? The answer to why I write what I write might change on any given day. I’ve been writing since I first copied poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses into my handmade book. Through the years I journaled and wrote copious letters before settling into writing more ‘legitimate’ works. I process my feelings through writing–it’s on the page that I find answers and create new paths to awareness or ways to move forward. I can’t imagine not having access to pen and paper at all times. I keep a notepad in the bathroom, in my bedside table drawer, in my dressing room, the car, and at my desk. I’m more likely to jot down things on paper than on the various note apps on my devices.
2. What am I working on? I’m working on two projects right now, though honestly the memoir is languishing in a pile of assorted notebooks and documents. As I began to write about sexuality and aging here and for clients I began to develop the idea of a simple guide for midlife women on reconnecting with their sexual desire. That book is my prime focus right now. The other is alive in my mind, changing and growing with the passage of time. I scribble bits and pieces here and there as I can no longer count on my memory to retrieve those thoughts among all the other things crowding my mind.
3. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I don’t really know how to answer this one. The world of sex writing is broad. There is erotica, with many sub-genres, the ‘how-to’ category, the boastful Better Sex in 5 Days stuff, and all other matters of writing to stimulate, tease and educate. There is no rhyme or reason to what makes the cut. 50 Shades of Grey was a wildly successful e-book that is widely considered to be poorly written–and it’s heading to the movies! Anais Nin’s works are being republished. In between? Anything you can imagine and more. I fall into the educational section, at least for now.
4. How does your writing process work? My freelance writing is very different from my personal writing. When I sit down to write for a client I have a topic and an angle. If the work is not about sexuality I’m typically writing from research notes, finding the points that enhance the story while trying to write in the style that suits my client’s needs.
When I write about sexuality, whether it is for my newest column as the Sexual Health Columnist for Midlife Boulevard or my previous gig with Better After 50, or one of the other places I write, often the words just flow. With research and references interspersed. The topic excites me, it inspires that part of me that wants to help women find their desires and passion, to live a healthier and sexier life. It’s really just that simple.
I write in the morning, when I feel more focused and productive. I write a quick first draft, edit, and then walk away or shift to another project. My next round of editing comes some hours later, maybe even the next day. It depends on the work. My computer in my kitchen, looking out over the back yard. I’m distractible and often find myself watching the birds, squirrels or deer meandering around in the yard. By 10 am the sun is streaming in over my right shoulder, making the computer screen difficult to see and beckoning me to abandon the work. When free writing or journaling, I sit in a chair overlooking the back yard with my notebook and bright red pen in hand; a cup of coffee near by.
My writing process differs from yours. Every writer has her quirks, her favorite seat, her rituals. We write with different motivations, a varied sense of urgency, moving towards individual goals. A good writing day for me is measured by that moment of inspiration–when the words flow and I get that sense of having “nailed it”. They don’t come often enough.
I was invited to join the #mywritingprocess project by Janie Emaus, a talented writer who has written in all sorts of venues during her career. You can find her work here. The assignment included sending you off to read another writer’s take on her process.
I want to introduce you to Lisa Froman, the author of Tao Flashes, A Woman’s Way to Navigating the Midlife Journey with Integrity, Harmony and Grace. A writer and poet, she has worked as a communications professional for more than 30 years. Lisa has received numerous honors and awards for her advertising, public relations and copy writing skills, and currently works as a senior writer for a Louisiana-based corporation.
In her free time, she blogs on inspirational and spiritual topics to support women, particularly those on the midlife journey. You can read Lisa’s blog here.
Her most recent essay, “When Shift Happens at Midlife,” was recently published in the book, The Zen of Midlife Mothering.