Normally I don’t take part in blog challenges, but when Faith asked me to share my writing process the timing seemed fitting. In my morning pages, I had just scribbled out a page answering why I write. This was two months ago!! I didn't finish this post during summer because I just wanted to play outside. There is something about September though that heightens my introspective side, and I’ve found myself writing in my journal nearly every morning - mostly sanity-seeking entries - but I thought I’d finally share my writing process here.
Step 1: Acknowledge the person (& site) who involved you in the blog tour.
Faith Levine of Gracefulfitness is a woman who knows and celebrates her strength. Her beautiful energy radiates out, felt even through the cyber world, and she stretches her limits to redefine them. But there is also a vulnerability to Faith, and it adds power to her words. Whether she is talking about body image or “oversharing” her incidents of cervical dysplagia, she overcomes fear and insecurity to share experiences that leave us feeling connected, even supported. Thank you, Faith.
Step 2: Answer 4 questions about your writing process.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
During our recent trip to Bali I found myself drafting up “essentials” lists, including my go-to products for outdoor adventuring, as well as essentials for surviving 14-hour flights. These will be fun to share, but I’m most excited to express my current thoughts on “exercise” and how I’ve recently let go of this concept. I was also “redesigning” this blog, but I’d rather be playing outside or simply writing...and there's plenty of studying to do. Graphic design bores me. I don’t know if things will ever look – or feel different – but I am trying to allow myself freedom to write my stuff and continue to figure out what that is and how that might affect what things look like around here. I want to work in topics I’m passionate about like movement, anatomy, biomechanics…in a way that is relevant to others and easily understood.
HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS’ WORK IN THE SAME GENRE?
Your life isn’t meant to look like mine. I write my stories hoping to inspire others to fill their lives with passions. I show I’m a mess. My life isn’t Pinterest-perfect or Kinfolk-esque, but it’s beautiful and amazing.
By finally recognizing what my blog isn’t (a food or fitness blog), I’m allowing myself to work my passions into topics. Through my storytelling, I share what I need daily – what brings colour into my life (climbing, nature, writing, yoga, travel, movement) - but I also share painful lessons I am continually learning.
WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO?
To process my own shit. Honestly, my journal is mostly a brain dump where I dive deep into the mess of my thoughts, swim around in murkiness for pages, and - if I’m lucky - surface with a bit of clarity.
Why do I share some of it though?
The by-product I hope to cultivate by sharing is to convince you to throw off the perceptions of what our lives “should” look like and dive into living the way you were meant to live. Live a rich life. Turn autopilot off and start making intentional choices.
I want to help others live happier, healthier lives as well. Free yourself from pain. Love yourself. Play often. Live simply. Move more. Get outside. Follow your passions.
HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I write. In a notebook.
The physical practice of writing has always been a cathartic therapy for me, so generally, typing doesn’t work as well. I’m particular about the pens I use…and my notebooks. While I love beautiful notebooks and journals, I tend to get cheap, spiral-bound varieties with silly covers. Angry Bird Pigs. Puppies. The sillier the better. It allows me to be messy and not take myself too seriously. This works out because all of my writing usually starts as a brain dump and eventually fleshes out what I actually want to say. If it’s for a blog post, I type out a VERY rough outline from my writings…see where it lacks clarification and detail…step away…then return to my notebook to expound on these, often starting with a question or partial statement.
Often ideas are inspired by others. My “best” usually hit me while walking along the train tracks or sitting in the middle of the desert. I’m striving to trust myself more and let ideas flow through me. The more I write, the more I set my own voice free.
I’ve realized what my blog is not, which has left room to expand into more of my passions. At times it feels messy to find my voice and let it develop along with this blog space. I wonder if I’ll ever feel my voice. It’s a continual process, and I think you just have to go with it and let it happen.
Pass it on.
Months ago Analiese Brown reached out to me thoughtfully. As nice as it was to receive her remarks, the real treat was making my way over to The Necessary Wild. Her monthly recaps are especially intimate. I find myself wanting to grab a cup of tea and just watch the sun rise with her. Her writing comes off as effortless, which is impressive considering how much depth she carries in her words. I look forward to watching her develop as a writer, and continue sharing our love for nature and simple joys. Analiese, I'd love to read about your writing process. Just follow the steps above if you're game.