Last Monday, Nancy from The Real Nani shared her writing process with her readers on an author blog tour. She tagged me and asked me if I wanted to play along.
At first glance, the questions seemed really easy to answer. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized a had A LOT to say.
What am I working on?
If you are a long time reader of A Cookie Before Dinner, you have likely noticed my posting schedule has gone down drastically the last six weeks. I was posting 3-4 times a week on a pretty consistent basis until my blogcation. That week away was intentional, so I could regain my focus and plan for the second quarter.
What I wasn’t expecting was to make an emergency trip to Florida the next week to visit Michael’s 93 year old grandmother whose kidneys were failing. We packed in a hurry and drove 24 hours straight through. We spent a glorious week with her and our family saying our last goodbyes. We were almost completely unplugged, save for our phones.
During that week away, I learned a lot about priorities and work life balance. I’m working on posting more frequently than once a week. I’m working on writing with an intentional focus on my words. I’ve stopped drafting in my platform and am writing things in Word first. I get too distracted when I’m online.
I’m working on reading words written on paper and stepping outside of my writing comfort zone. I’m going to have a piece published in the June issue of a magazine. I’m working on filling up my idea bucket, so when I come to the computer to write, I’m not starting from scratch.
I’m working one on one with a friend during her month long blogging sabbatical. I’m beta testing a blogger rehab program with her.
I’m working on getting ready for three conferences this year and putting together things like business cards and media kits.
I am working on A Cookie Before Dinner’s long term vision.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
For a long time, I’ve considered myself a lifestyle blogger with a momblog influence. But recently, I read this post that Julie from Fabulous Blogging wrote. In it, she outlines several different kinds of blog types. After reading it, I realized that I’m not exactly the kind of blogger I thought I was. I am an inspirational blogger who wants to develop more practical content.
If you combined my inspirational content with Beth’s from Structure In An Unstructured Life’s practical content, that is where A Cookie Before Dinner is heading.
Why do I write what I do?
My hope is that this blog inspires the reader to chase a sweet life well lived. My goals for my readers is that they walk away from reading A Cookie Before Dinner feeling encouraged, laughing, or with something useful that will make their lives a little better.
I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, and I’m so thankful I have this space to call home.
I want to leave my heart on paper for my children. And I want women to know they are not alone in their life journey.
How does my writing process work?
As a stay at home mom with two little ones, I do not have the luxury to sit down and write in peace. In an ideal world, I’d be able to close the door to an office and be alone with my thoughts. But at this time, my season of life and our home don’t afford that.
The room that I use to write in is mullet style. Business in the front, with my desk, and party in the back, with Malone’s toys. It opens up with French doors into our living room.
I typically use Lola’s morning nap as writing time. Malone knows that when Lola goes down for her nap, he’s going to (FINALLY!) get to watch a bit of TV. In the afternoons, while Malone is at preschool, I use naptime for administrative tasks like creative graphics, editing photos, email, or checking social media. After the kids are in bed, I either brainstorm new post ideas or read and comment on other blogs.
This is a new time strategy for me. In the past I would bop from task to task without a real focus. And then I’d wonder why it felt like I couldn’t ever get anything done.
I keep a loose editorial calendar on pen and paper. I often have more ideas than I have time to execute well. But I’m learning that the most important thing to do is to keep on showing up to the computer to write.
I’ve spent a lot of time digging in to Kat Lee’s Blog Planning Kit. It is the best $15.00 that I’ve invested in my blog. It is an amazing resource that has helped me narrow down my focus. It is a lot of goal setting but long term and short term. I’ve got my five year goals for this space mapped out. It’s crazy to think about, but they are on pen and paper. Every post I write and thing I do points back to my five year plan.
I will be writing about the blog planning kit more in depth on Wednesday so come back!
I am thrilled to be passing this tour stop on to two great bloggers, Allison of Go Dansker Mom and Beth from Structure In An Unstructured Life. These women are two of my favorites. Beth is my blogging kindred. I think that if we teamed up, we could rule the world. And when I read Allison’s blog, I often feel as though I could have written the EXACT same thing. Check out their blogs next Monday, April 26 as they take you behind the scenes of their writing process!