How pleased I was to get an invitation from Sor’a Garrett, creator of The Shine Connection blog, to participate in a “Writing About Writing” blog tour. This week, I am asked to answer the questions below on my own blog. A week from now, I will introduce you to three bloggers whom I’ve invited to participate, and they will answer the questions too. If you’re new here, be sure to add your name to our email list in the sidebar. Your information will be protected, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
1) What are you currently working on?
Here at Heartspoken.com, I try to provide weekly insight and reflections on the power of connection to enrich and add meaning to our lives. Besides my client freelance writing, this keeps me pretty busy, but I’ve got two projects in the works that I hope will come to fruition over the next year. One is to launch a series of Heartspoken’s Little Guide ebooks on a wide variety of topics related to my theme of connection. The second is to create a podcast in which I interview experts who can contribute to our understanding of life’s essential connections — authors, philosophers, psychologists, speakers, etc. Both projects seem a bit daunting right now, but if feeling a bit afraid is a sign I’m on the right track, then I must be.
2) How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
I like to think my writing conveys the warmth and love I feel for my readers, and to the extent that a writer is authentic in their communication, no one else is ever quite like them. Even a similar message delivered by two different messengers can offer unique color and insight.
Nothing makes me happier than to help someone make a connection that brings them value, assistance, or joy. A blog provides an amazing platform for reaching folks I might never have known otherwise. I bring the benefit of age and experience and, I hope, the humility of always being open to learning from others along the way.
Life is an adventurous journey, and through my writing, I am blessed to have fellow travelers share it with me. These essential life connections are ones I’m trying to strengthen in my own life, and I’ll learn from you as you come along with me on the journey. We support each other, and like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, Spirit mysteriously and beautifully makes the sum of our individual connections an even more wonderful whole—a co-creation, if you will—than we could have done on our own.
3) Why do you write what you write?
Turning 60 was a watershed time for me — a time for reflection on how to make the rest of my life count. As I thought about what had contributed most significantly to my own success and happiness, I realized it was my ability to make connections. I believe strongly that this is not just a matter of natural ability. I know anyone can learn to strengthen those connections most essential to their well-being, so my goal is to teach and share with anyone who wants to learn. There are many kinds of connections, of course, but the four that, to me, are the most essential are the connection:
- with God
- with Self
- with Others
- with Nature
My goal in all I do is to help others strengthen those connections in which they feel the most need.
4) Describe your writing process.
First of all, I have an editorial calendar that identifies the general theme of my twice-weekly posts. So on the first and third Mondays, for instance, my theme is Connection with Others, and on the second and fourth Mondays, it is Connection with Nature. The first and third Thursdays call for writing about Connection with Self, and on the second and fourth Thursdays, I write about Connection with God. When there’s a fifth Monday or Thursday, it’s either pot luck or I write about my favorite connection tool: personal handwritten notes.
I use Evernote (see notes below) to captures ideas on the fly or as a way to clip online articles that inspired me to develop one idea or another. I also have a folder for each of my four areas of connection in which I put magazine or newspaper articles I’ve cut out. So if I’m stuck for something to write about, I have a treasure trove of ideas just waiting.
I’m a proponent of something I learned in the Damn Fine Words writing class I took recently: writing routines help ensure productivity and creativity. So I typically wake up, enjoy some quiet prayer time and spiritual reading, and then I write in my home office, with a cup of coffee at my side.
Stay with us on the tour
Be sure to check back next week when I introduce three wonderful writers to you, each of whom has a blog of her own. And be sure to visit Sor’a Garrett’s blog, The Shine Connection.
I learned a great deal about the importance of writing routines and processes from the fabulous course by James Chartrand called “Damn Fine Words.” Just getting on the course mailing list will get you lots of free writing tips, even if you don’t purchase the course. I’ve written about it in more details HERE. Course registration will open up again in early September.
Photo credit: “Two Puzzle Pieces” by Wunderbild via Dollar Photo Club