Last week I was asked by the lovely and hugely talented Christine Organ to do a blog hop with her. The rules were pretty simple. Answer some questions and write a little bit about my writing process, and what I'm working on right now.
I have gotten to know Christine over the past couple of years in this strange and beautiful blogging world, and I knew right from the start that she was a kindred spirit. Her writing about faith and family, and about keeping our eyes open to the world around us, is gorgeous and is some of my very favorite on the internet. We have shared stories of life, love and tradition, and when I was going through some tough stuff this past spring, she recognized it and over a few days we exchanged a series of e-mails that went a long way towards healing my soul.
There is an incredible magic in meeting someone you connect with so quickly. Someone who understands you and your experiences and who can say "me too" when you tell your secrets; those things that you may not be able to write about yet but that you desperately need to share. Someone who reaches across the vast ether of this digital world and who takes your proverbial hand and tells you that it is ok to share. That your secrets are safe with her.
So thank you, Christine, for your friendship, and for inviting me to be a part of this blog hope.
Here we go...
1. What Am I Working On/Writing?
It has been an interesting few months in my writing world, mostly because it has been an interesting few months in my life. I have a drafts folder littered with sentences, half-formed thoughts, and pieces of blog posts that I am not quite ready to share yet, but hopefully will be one day. Going back and looking over it all a few months removed from some pretty big events has been eye-opening for me, and I hope to put it all into some coherent pieces. I really believe that there is a hugely important lesson for me to learn from this little slice of my life, and I know that the past few months are ones I definitely will not want to forget, even if I am not quite ready to remember them in living color just yet.
The other pretty exciting thing going on is that I recently started writing some pieces for a blog called The Times of Israel. I was a little hesitant at first about sharing my thoughts and feelings on Israel, and my fervent belief in its existence as the Jewish state, but once I started writing, the result was two pieces of which I am incredibly proud. I am in the middle of working on a third that I hope to have finished by the end of the week.
Lastly, I just started working on a complete re-design of my blog. It might take awhile, but I started the process and am really excited to see where it ends up.
2. How Does My Work/Writing Differ From Others of Its Genre?
This is a funny question for me, because I am not so sure that my writing falls into any particular genre. I have written about everything from my love of TV and romance novels, home and family, and friendship and tradition to politics, gun control and current events.
In a way, I see this blog as a collection of memories. A place where I put things that I don't want to forget, and a place where I process things while they are happening to help me sort out and understand the things that sometimes seem so complex and inexplicable.
It's a mixed writing bag, this blog, but that kind of describes me too. I have a lot of pockets and interests, and I think my blog reflects that. I have been at it for almost three years now, and I can say absolutely that I have created something here that I am immensely proud of, and something that I hope to stick with for a long, long time. It will evolve and change as I do, and I am thrilled with that.
3. Why Do I Do What I Do?
I started this blog on a whim one gloomy Friday afternoon when I didn't have anything else to do. What it has become is something I couldn't even have dreamed of. Writing has allowed me to see myself and the world in a very different and satisfying light, and processing my life in words has made that life richer and more meaningful than I ever could have imagined.
I think that is the core reason I do what I do. Because writing - and sharing what I write - satisfies a part of me I didn't know existed. Putting my words and myself out there for others to see and to read is akin to inviting people into my life, to stay awhile. There is a potent magic in sharing stories; in saying "this is me," unapologetically and in connecting with people through writing words.
And through those words, I have met people who I am lucky to call my friends. Some of them I have met in person and some I haven't, but that doesn't make the friendships any less real and true. I have found myself a writing community - a blogging tribe if you will - and it keeps me coming back, each and every day.
4. How Does My Writing Process Work?
I'm not sure I have a real "writing process." Ideas for stories and things to write come to me all the time, usually when I'm in the shower or on a run. I usually open up an e-mail and send myself some half-formed thoughts and sentences, and then when I'm in front of my computer I pull those thoughts and sentences together into a cohesive piece.
I generally need a whole morning and part of the afternoon to write a blog post. I start early in the morning, and come back to it multiple times through the day until it's ready to be published. Small bursts of writing with breaks for other things, like my actual job, work best for me.
There are times, of course, when entire pieces just tumble out of me in no time at all. This piece was one of those. So was this one, this one, this one and this one. But more often than not I need a little time to get my thoughts in the right order and to get the words to cooperate.