One of the things I most love about blogging (which by extension means ‘the blogging community’ both broadly and narrowly defined) is the layers of serendipity that emerge between/among individuals and themes. Take this blog hop, for instance, with its theme of ‘writers tell all.’ I have just been posting a few snippets about why women write – a particular passion of mine and the focus of my work-in-the-world.
And now the questions point squarely at me, thanks to Monica Frazer (who by the way has just joined the incredibly gracious, informative and connected WordPress family – congratulations!!!). According to the template of her invitation to me, I see two responses and a set of nominations in my immediate future:
Question 1: What are you working on?
Two chapbooks of poetry: Turnings about the many cycles of release and return as inhabitants of the natural world; and Fruit and Seed: Digging in the Mother Garden, a collection decades in the making and finally blossoming forth this summer about mothering and its lack.
Release and launch of Hear Me, See Me: Incarcerated Women Write, an unedited anthology of the raw prose and poetry of Vermont’s incarcerated women with whom my partner and I write weekly. Our Burlington VT launch event is set for October 3; the book is currently available from the publisher, Orbis Books, and Amazon.
As always in August, I begin planning for my fall writing circles: the two ongoing groups as part of Women Writing for (a) Change – Vermont; and its offshoot prison program, writing inside VT. Agendas, marketing materials . . .
This fall I also hope to initiate a blog for WWf(a)C-VT, as the other two are such fun. AND I look forward to re-turning to original writing with my groups at the end of the month.
Question 2: How does your writing process work?
This is where I’d like to offer pearls of wisdom for ‘the writing life.’ Instead, the best I can offer is two lessons I have learned – over and over. One is the process has to work FOR YOU. Like parenting, you need to work from your own sense of belief. There will always be someone working more regularly, more confidently, more productively, more . . . (fill in the blank) than you. That does not matter. Write how it works for you. Which for me means focusing on balance…
And brings me to my second learning. For some, balance means mornings to write; afternoons for physical activity; evenings for reading. For others it means 10 written pages per day no matter what, recognizing that the other things will fall into place as needed (like paying bills, preparing meals, walking the dog). This is the big-stones-into-the-bowl-first theory of Stephen Covey. And your writing IS your big stone, however you choose to balance. Including a sacred fifteen minutes at bedtime to poem about the day.
My ‘process’ is all of this. It depends on where I am, and the time of year. In summer, I follow the morning-writing routine because I have that luxury. The rest of year, I subscribe to balance – getting my own creative writing time into, if not each day, at least each week so that I feel balanced over time.
The most important part of my process is to honor myself. It doesn’t matter whether I have ‘something to say.’ It only matters that I continue to exercise my writing muscle in service to the play of words. For me.
Now it’s my turn to tag three writers.
Jeannine Bergers Everett blogs – can you believe it? – daily. She clearly must have some dynamite things to say about her writing process . . . Check out her two blogs: mobyjoecafe and momaiku. Her wry humor and spot-on observations about human foibles – often her own – will make you so glad you did.
Esther Bradley is someone who blogs prolific long posts about tough issues.With such a wealth of material, she surely has a perspective on process to share! And what’s not to love about a blog called sorrygnat! Don’t be fooled – the rest of the title is ‘world citizen’ and her tagline includes ‘whimsy’!!
For Barbara Morrison, as prize-winning, book producing and touring author, time management and writing process must guide her more than we know . . . but would like to!! Looks like she’s going to be one busy women this fall. Check her out.
Please visit their blogs. See what they’re up to; hopefully they’re also willing to share their own writing secrets. Writers Tell All!