A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in a blog tour. The woman who invited me was Monica Devine. I have never met Monica, who I've since learned is a writer, poet and photographer and is the author of five books for children, but we shared a mutual connection in Suzi Banks Baum. I've known Suzi personally and professionally for a long time and contributed to her Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice.
It's hard for me to say no to Suzi so it was hard to say no to Monica. Which has everything to do with why I said yes. That and the idea that this "tagging" was an experiment in digital sharing and might increase my current following as well as help me to sell some seats in my new workshop series. Yes - I am admitting that some of my reasoning for accepting the invitation was purely mercenary.
Now here I am, the day before this post is scheduled to run and wondering what I was thinking! I love the idea of writing about my writing process, but my to-do list these days resembles triage - and writing about my writing - well - it seems like a luxury for another time.
But I made a commitment. And I am not one to back out of a commitment. So I have set the timer and am getting down to the business of writing - which brings me to the first question I was given by our blog tour coordinators.
How does my writing process work?
The timer is at the core of my writing process and the subject of my book, It Takes An Egg Timer, A Guide to Creating The Time For Your Life. Yes - I practice what I preach. Sometimes the muse hits me and I am drawn to sitting in front of my big iMac and letting the keys fly. Most times it is something that I make myself do. Something that given the option I will avoid in lieu of cleaning my entire apartment or stalking people on Facebook.
Setting the timer is part of my ritual. The gentle ticking sets the space and reminds me I am serious about getting some work done.
I'd like to tell you that I am disciplined enough that every morning I sit and write for a few hours before getting to the other stuff I do. But that would be a lie and at this point - something I only aspire to.
While I write everyday, when it comes to my bigger projects I am still a binger at my core. It is how I started when I was still working a corporate job and penning my first novel.
Reading all that you might be asking the next question.
Why do I write?
If it sounds like such torture and at times something I avoid, why on earth write at all? I suppose my answer - because I have to and because I need to and because I love to - might sound like some fetish in which there is pleasure derived from pain. Maybe. But the answer that feels the most real is because this is how I make sense of life. Writing is how I find my answers to my questions. When I don't write, breathing becomes more difficult as does life. And when I do, it all flows easier.
What do I write?
I have no specific genre. Which as a marketer I will tell you is not the best way to develop a loyal, core following but as a creative entrepreneur in a digital age, I will tell you that it's okay to experiment with different genres and let the muse lead the way.
When I first got serious about writing I thought it would all be novels, like my first book, The Secrets They Kept. Then I started blogging. I found I had a lot of opinions on life and work and with that a readership. My love of marketing was renewed when I immersed myself in digital and suddenly there was more to write about. And more ways in which I would write. Blogs. Books. Workshop curriculums. While I have a few big projects in the works, I expect the next book will be a version of this new workshop - Your Digital You. So stay tuned.
When I started writing this post I had no idea how I would be able to keep this commitment I made to Monica and indirectly to Suzi. I didn't know what I was going to write about, how this possibly fit in with anything else I did, much less who in the world I was going to find to be next on the tour in the eleventh hour.
Now that I am almost done it is clear. I did what I know works. I stopped procrastinating, I sat in my chair, I set the timer and I wrote - without judgment. I surrendered to the process and not only did a blog materialize but a writer to pass the baton to.
Next up - Jami Kelmenson is a freelance writer and blogger living and loving in NYC. She's a contributing author to the “Flying Solo” chapter of the self-improvement book, "The 52 Weeks: Two Women and Their Quest to Get Unstuck…". Her “single girl” essays have been published by Match.com’s Happen Magazine and The52weeks.com. She also blogs about books for ShelfPleasure.com, a destination spot for women who love reading. Read of her ongoing “tales of travel, life, love and the pursuit of getting published in NYC” at her personal blog, “Two Men and a Lady (and an RV).
One more thing before I go...
Your Digital You - the blueprint - a workshop designed to improve your digital presence kicks off this May! Can you tell I'm excited? First date available is May 8. Seating is limited - truly - so reserve early! I promise it will be informative, relevant and fun!