Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Answers to Four Questions about My Writing Process



I am very honored to be invited to join the Author's Writing Process Blog Tour! I was tagged by my blog-friend and gracious writer Ana Whiston-Donaldson of An Inch of Gray. (Go back and read her responses to the questions too. You can follow the whole chain!) While I do not consider myself an "author", I have accepted the title "writer" in recent years so I will give it a shot. I have been asked to answer the following four questions... 

1-WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

I work from home as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. I provide business websites with weekly and twice weekly blog posts in order to draw customers into their online stores. My freelance writing is bringing in a steady trickle of funds that are helpful to us in this season. But that is not who I am as a writer and it is not what this blog tour is all about, is it?

In answer to question #1, I am working on a short nonfiction inspirational book   about my journey from a life of fear and religious legalism to one of freedom and joy. It is about getting out from under the "church lady" syndrome. No longer structuring my life to fit the "rules" of what a Christian woman should look, act and feel like. Each chapter begins with a sweet and/or powerful encounter with God in my life as He showed me that He is not concerned with what I could do for Him. His only concern is that I know how much He loves me….already, without doing one more outreach, Bible study or missionary trip. My story is all about becoming the real me….the one who knows she is deeply loved by God.


2 – HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?

That is an interesting question because my WIP (work in progress) can sound like both a memoir and a devotional, but it does not feel like either to me. I am pretty sure that it will be set up like a devotional with short chapters that begin with a true story from my life. Then it will move to my interpretation of what God was telling me and how the reader can apply it to his or her own life. I want to end each chapter with a short prayer for the reader possibly.

Since the stories are true and from my life, it may sound like a memoir, I suppose. But honestly, the idea of writing a memoir freaks me out, so I do not go there just yet. I want to talk directly to the reader as if we are having a cup of coffee in my kitchen. My hope is that every reader will close the book feeling more loved than when they opened it.


3- WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?

Honestly, the message of this book came out of heartbreak as I read blog after blog written by believers who were sad, confused and hurting while working their butts off to prove their love for God. They were overwhelmed with ministry jobs and volunteering at the church and did not recognize that they were working for something they already had. My message is: There is nothing you can do to make God love you less and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more. Stop striving to earn His approval, pleasure or love. You already have it. Saying, “Yes” to every job at the church is not going to give you more “points” with God. You are loved just for breathing.


4 – HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?

Since this is a first time adventure, I am not super confident about it and therefore I find myself ignoring my WIP for weeks at a time. If I knew that I was on to something-really-great in this project, I believe that I would be able to give myself to it with better discipline and devotion. But the doubts and questions swirl around my head before and after each writing session.

When I do work on my book, this is what it has looked like: I re-read all of my personal journals pulling out the important moments with God over the years. The special times when I knew that He was speaking to me, or I experienced a life-changing situation. I have chosen which stories to tell and they are in a file of rough drafts that need to be rewritten until I am happy with them.

I like to listen to calm instrumental music on Pandora while I write. I drink lots of water while writing, and munch on Good & Plenty candy if possible. My dog Layla is usually curled up beside me here on my couch. She is a sleeper during the day, so this works for quite a few hours. If I waste this time by doodling around on social media, I kick myself when later in the day, I am ready to do some serious writing and by this time she is nudging my hands off the keyboard for some playtime. (Pretty similar to the way I used to write while my sons were napping so very many years ago!)

I do love it when I drop into “the zone” and write my head off without thought of what time it is or how long I have been tapping the keyboard. I look up, all bleary-eyed and am shocked at the clock face. LOVE IT! Thankfully, I have an empty nest, so no small children were neglected or left to fend for themselves while I was in the zone. I have no idea how long it will take me to finish my book but it would be awesome to have it in my hands before this year is over! 

One week from tomorrow (April 21 or there-abouts) you will be able to continue this Blog Tour by visiting 2 authors whom I have tagged...Wendy Welch and TJ Loveless (TJ's blog: Writing From the Padded Room). 

I met Wendy online when I went all fangirl on her after reading her delightful book, "Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap". I loved the book so much that I immediately found her website and her Facebook and left comments that included a lot of gushing. I was shocked and thrilled to get a response from her and found out that she is a "normal" human being, just like me! We hit it off and continue to chat back and forth via this lovely thing called the Internet! 

I met TJ on Facebook through a Writer's Group that we belong to. She is hilarious and kind and a little bit scary because she enjoys writing about murders and mysterious happenings that involve unicorns and an odd assortment of characters. I am looking forward to reading her answers to these 4 questions about her writing process. 
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9 comments:

  1. "A little scary"? Me?! LOL

    I loved your answers :D

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  2. I love your honesty and openness to how God loves you no matter what, who, how much, how many, how often, etc. you know what I mean and I know exactly what you mean, having been there, done that and have the t shirt too. Still muddling through those feelings myself. Can't sit through a church service w/o feeling guilty because I am not involved in every aspect of the church anymore. But God has shown me that He has other work for me to do right now that is just as valuable to Him...just by being me. And YOU have helped me to see that and accept that...so YES< write the book. It is needed. I say go for it! :)

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    1. I am so glad that I made a difference for you. As you know, it is an ongoing lesson isn't it? Thanks so much for all of your kind encouragement Pamela, it means a lot to me. Love you!

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  3. Susie: Your blog entries shows your transparency. This one is right up there with the others.

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  4. Love this, Susie! Your book project sounds needed and wonderful. XO

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    1. Thanks Anna. I am so impressed that you have written a book in just a few months while I am still here talking about mine. But it will happen, it is coming along.

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  5. Great write-up! Writing is a talent, and it must not be wasted. As with everything that we had been entrusted, we should let it grow and share it with the world.>self education resources

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All comments are good comments!