Last November, I was at my good friend Lindsay’s wedding. For the reception, she sat Richard and I at a table sorta off to the side. I won’t even tell you what my drunk self started calling it, but we happened to be sitting next to two absolutely incredible people, one of whom my husband actually knew from a job he had when I met him back in the late 90s. We bonded with our new friends over sarcasm and tales of debauchery and have since maintained a friendship via social media. It’s not too often that you meet people who challenge you to think more thoroughly and openly (especially on Facebook), but Mark and Joshua do just that. They consistently post status updates and articles that challenge my thought process and established opinions on a plethora of social issues. And they make me laugh. Like, the kinda laugh where, even when I’m at home alone, I expect people to turn and stare at me. And that’s awesome.
Mark invited me to participate in this blog tour about my writing process after writing his responses. Our writing styles are so completely different, that I’m actually excited to record my responses to compare to his. So here goes!
1. What are you working on?
A better question would be… what are you not working on? Most importantly right now, I’m actually working on a 12-blogger campaign I have put together to highlight a brand that I really stand by. This is my first time overseeing a campaign such as this, and I honestly don’t know exactly what to expect, but I trust that I have selected some amazing bloggers, some known for their great storytelling, others for their photography, their recipes, and their point-of-view. Being able to unite people committed to producing quality content to be shared with their readers is pretty awesome.
Tonight I will draft tomorrow’s post, celebrating my daughter’s 5th birthday. Each year, when celebrating my children’s birthdays, I try to write a unique piece that touches upon a different aspect of motherhood. Tomorrow’s post? Why September 2nd is the best birthday.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I went with some of my South Florida blogger friends to a luncheon last week. We each discussed what we did prior to blogging. I was a co-director of a nonprofit for children with special needs, to my left was Melissa of The Eyes of a Boy, whose background is in sales and marketing, and to my right was April of April Go Lightly, who is a lawyer. Each time I go to a blogger event, I’m always fascinated by how people of such diverse backgrounds have chosen to make a career out of sharing their stories. Every blogger has a life to share in words and photographs, experiences that create a unique perspective. I like to imagine people do not randomly choose my blog posts to read, but read my posts because they actually care to learn about my passions and adventures and engage with me in a way that will help them gain a greater understanding of certain topics. Okay, so maybe I’m a bit narcissistic, but you sorta have to be as a writer.
3. Why do you write what you do?
This is probably the easiest question to answer. I have always documented my life. I have a Hello Kitty diary from 4th grade, where I wrote down not only the events of my life, but how they made me feel. From 9th grade on, I have hand-written diaries and notebooks, which then became LiveJournal (don’t even try to search for that – it is very well-hidden), Blogger, and finally this blog. I write because I am compelled to, with a certain sense of urgency “This experience must be recorded right now because it will matter to someone else some day.”
I started Huppie Mama to vent and connect. I realized that I wanted to raise my daughter a certain way. I wanted to breastfeed and cloth-diaper and bed-share and baby-wear and feed her organic food, and I didn’t know anyone in real life who was into that. So I vented about the frustrations of being surrounded by ‘modern moms’ and reached out to those individuals who made choices similar to mine. I learned that there were so many moms out there who made similar choices — and were looking for moms like me to share their stories.
At some point, I decided blogging could be more than just an outlet, but also an income. People would actually pay me to creatively tell my stories through words and photographs. Exciting! This is when I began setting more goals for myself: improved content, more professional-looking photography, and increased exposure via social media. I write and share freely because I simply cannot imagine not doing so.
4. What is your writing process like?
This can be demonstrated most clearly in the following photograph, taken while I was working yesterday morning.
That’s what being a full-time, work-from-home mom looks like. Constantly. I write two types of content: sponsored (paid) and evergreen (organic). I try as best as possible to make my sponsored content sincere/genuine so the posts read similarly to my evergreen content. I’m inspired by everyday experiences that others may not even notice. Like right now, as I’m typing, my son is making a pink plastic frog jump down my arm and across my computer. Now he’s laying on me. I can probably think of 5 different blog posts to write regarding this one-minute occurrence.
My process begins when either I am asked to find a creative way to write about a particular product or subject -or- when I think of what I imagine is a great topic of interest to others. I keep an editorial calendar of my sponsored content, and when I have an opening, I pull an idea I have written on the marker board I have on my refrigerator. I try to write 6 posts a week (I give myself a break one day out of the week). Sometimes I begin with a title, other times a photo, and sometimes I just open a blank post and start rambling, then re-read an insane number of times to be certain it actually makes sense. The process is not always the same, but the product is generally something that proudly represents me as a wife, mother, educator, or crazy bitch…or any combination of those.
And 1,000+ words later, I still ask myself “Did I answer all the questions?”
Tagging: I wrote an open-ended status update about this to see who was interested in participating. My friend Melissa of Beyond Mommying said she was interested. I met her through a local blogging group and we have attended events together. She recently started ordering from the buying club I organize at my home every-other week, so we get to see each other more often. She writes about her parenting adventures as a homeschooling mother of three.