* What am I working on?
I am working on writing the story of my life. I am writing my story here on the blog, in my daily journaling practice, in my morning practice of writing letters to my Sweet Momma Jesus, in Sunday School lessons I prepare, and also in a series of essays in response to prompts I glean from several memoir writing books I own. I am writing about myself and my immediate family, my parents and my siblings, my cousins and other relatives. I am writing about how they treated me, how they treat me now, and how I feel about how they treat me. I am writing memories of my time at camp during my childhood and young adulthood, a place called Sunshine Acres. I am writing about boyfriends, lovers, people I had crushes on, and people I wish I had never met. My hope, my dream, my plan is to pull together a pile of these pieces and meld it all into a belt.
* How does my work differ from others of its genre?
In only one way, my work is different because I am different. I cannot tell anyone's story for them; I can only tell my own. No one else can tell my story from my perspective. Even though I write often about other people, I write about my perspective of my interactions with them. I like what Jena wrote about in her blog tour post - comparing myself with other writers is a waste of time and energy. It serves no one.
I write what I write because I don't know what else to write. I dole out my stories, I make gratitude lists, I recount my travels, I shed my tears and share my prayers because writing helps me see my life more clearly. Writing helps me live my life more fully. Writing keeps me from losing hope. Writing restores my strength, my courage, my dignity, and deepens my faith. Writing provides me with a lens through which to examine my life and a channel through which I can gauge the beauty and glory of it. Writing has brought wisdom and insight, understanding and clarity during times of pain, confusion, loneliness, despair, and kept me from committing more than one grave error. Writing has also provided me with the means by which I can evaluate the grave errors I have made and decide whether or not I would commit them again under any circumstances. Writing allows me to fantasize, to romanticize, to analyze, to vandalize and scandalize - all without hurting, insulting, criticizing or damaging anyone or anything apart from the paper and pen or the computer keyboard I am writing on at the time. I write what I do because in my writing, I am most fully myself. I am most joyfully, happily, thankfully alive when I allow my words to flow onto paper and onto the screen. I write what I do because I cannot imagine a single day without writing.
* How does my writing process work?
Truthfully, I wish I had a stable writing process because I believe, with or without good reason, that "an established writing process" will be better than what I have done for years. I have no such process.
Once I sit down to write a blog post, I try to simply let the words flow from my mind down through my fingers. You know how sometimes when you have to go to the bathroom really badly, the urge increases ten-fold when you enter the bathroom? Crude example, I know, but that's how I feel when I sit down to write. I procrastinate for as long as possible many days, but once I sit down, the urge to write, to pour out my thoughts, my hopes, my prayers, my questions, my dreams is nearly overwhelming. Sometimes I choose not to write because the feeling is more intense than I am ready to deal with at the moment.
Thanks, Jena, for the invitation to share my writing process - such as it is.