There has been a wonderful blog hop going around the blogosphere lately, asking writers to share insights into their writing process. My lovely friend Kerry from NewToTwo and my soul sister Susannah from Whoa Susannah both invited me to join in this gig. I am thrilled to continue the hop with two of my favorite bloggers out there, Karmen from Chairs From The Curb and Jennifer from Another Jennifer. I can’t wait to read about their experience and insight into the writing process as well!
The following questions are given for each of us to answer…
Why do I write what I do?
I initially started my blog to reach moms and encourage and connect with them through humor and inspiration. It has since transformed into an additional facet of faith. I believe God has been the guiding force behind my words, and I have tried to honor His lead. I write to reach into the hearts of others, with prayerful intention. My goal is always to provide some sort of hope and healing, laughter in living, and encouragement in faith… to those who are in need. I love connecting with people, and my purpose in my writing will always be an extension of who I am. I want to share my gift of encouragement to anyone willing to receive.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think the unique difference with me, is that I am a Christian blogger in the mainstream. I don’t ever want to settle in the Christian corners-because I find fulfillment and joy in connecting with and sharing my words and heart with countless beautiful souls that may not be Christians. I am exactly where I need to be. And although I know that sometimes it would be a bit easier to venture toward the Christian circles, I know God calls me to roam the beautiful landscape of diversity. I absolutely love that I can engage and have soulful connections with so many people, and I don’t ever see me veering away from this oddly wonderful niche I have somehow landed in.
How does my writing process work?
It always begins with a thought, an experience, a visual, something I read or heard, a statement…
Something that triggers a message within. And I often jot down a quick note, so that I don’t forget it happened! I need a good long block of time to allow it to release into words. I begin with praying “God what do you want me to write?” Every. Single. Time. And I stay in that prayer until I sense clarity of the purpose behind my post. Sometimes I will write deep and meaningful articles that I pray resonate and linger in the hearts of my readers… and sometimes I lighten up and share humorous posts that I hope reveal the very real and goofy side to who I am. Both I find meaningful in some way.
Once I feel I have clarity in my message, I then sit down to write…write… write!!! I can spend hours on one post. I re-read it a few times to edit and change sentences and phrases and I usually cut a TON of words and paragraphs out as I try to filter the extra thoughts and ideas and focus in on the message I am trying to convey. I carefully pray through all of the words I read, and ask over and over again-to myself and to God: “How will they receive this?”
My goal? To enrich lives. I write for the purpose of encouraging others, so I read through my words as though I am someone else. I step outside of my own story, my own experience and I try to shift my view to that of the one receiving my message. I often have dear ones in mind for posts, and pray it touches them in some way. I also pray that whoever needs to read my message, is touched and gifted by it as well.
Then I walk away, leaving the rough draft to settle. I need to let my mind and heart settle too… because my initial breath of inspiration may transform into something different, or shift into something with a new angle. After a day or two, I return to that post and re-read it. It’s amazing how different it may seem! Sometimes it still ‘works’ and just needs a few tweaks- but other times, I frantically tear it apart and rework it all over again.
It’s a process people. A long, laborious and ever so beautiful process.
Once I feel at peace about the final draft. I read it a few more times to make sure it reads clearly and settles into my heart with a resounding sigh of ‘that’s it’. Always the most incredible fulfilling part of being a writer is this moment. Completion.
What am I working on?
I am currently enjoying reading and reviewing some incredible books that I have been entrusted with. I am a contributor for three amazing sites on a monthly basis. I am still supporting the book I am a co-author in that is being reviewed regularly and I’m so grateful for the entire experience of being published in a book! (paper- real paper people!) I am enjoying hosting several new friends that are sharing their blogs and books and insights in honor of Mother’s Day. I have been invited to write for another fantastic site about motherhood.
And as I continue forward and remain involved in this powerful industry of women writers, I feel so blessed and honored that I have opportunities to connect and develop close friendships with so many talented and lovely individuals. There are endless opportunities, much of which I haven’t even explored. I hope to try to submit more of my work to bigger platforms, as my dream will always be to expand my reach- and encourage as many people as I possibly can.
Lastly? I have been in a praying ‘rut’ about a possible book idea. I have thought about a Devotional Diary book with the theme of my Devotional Diary series… but still haven’t found peace in that. So I wait. And I practice patience in knowing and believing that God’s Plan is perfect, and I trust He’s got this.
I wrote a post that embraces the true process of my writing over at my friend Shell’s place- Things I Can’t say, called The Writer’s Breath, if you would like to read it. Go HERE.
Thank you for sharing your process, Chris!
I wish I had more of one. I usually just write when something pops into my head, with little editing, hit publish and keep my digits crossed.
I can’t believe that Alison! With some of the amazing pieces you produce, I am JEALOUS that it doesn’t take you much effort or time!! Lucky girl. You have a gift! I just LOVE that you came to read this, my friend. Thank you so very much. 🙂 (ps: Derek is moving SLOWLY with your awesome feedback- had a few glitches, but making some changes ever-so-slowly!!!)
Hope you are feeling okay!
Very cool, Kitty. I had no idea (though I guess I should have figured) how much prayer goes into your posts. That’s an impressive level of the stuff 🙂
Ahhh I remember your Writer’s Breath post, though 😀
Thanks Tigger. 🙂
I am always in an ongoing conversation with God, so there’s that. I really do take my writing very seriously… and those are the things I ESPECIALLY want to check in with God about. I think I want to feel confident and secure that I am ‘representing Him’ correctly, maybe that too.
That’s pretty incredible 😀
I love you. So. So. So. Much.
I kind of feel as though when we finally meet, we’re going to be so incredibly excited that one or both of us is just gonna pass out…
(P.S. It’s more likely to be you!)
I will DEFINITELY be the one to PASS OUT. LOL!!! Oh dear Lord, please let Lizzi be quick enough to catch me!!!! 🙂
I’ll catch ya 😀 Just make sure you’ve been to the bathroom before you meet me, or goodness knows what might occur! (given your track record online!)
Janine Huldie says
I love you and your writing process. I am so with you on jotting things down as they come to me and couldn’t have that any other way. And as for you overall message on your blog, you know I absolutely enjoy coming here and being uplifted even during the craziest parts of my days and weeks. So, huge thank you for that always. And one more for good measure, Happy Mother’s Day to you my friend. Hope you have the best day ever 🙂
Oh Janine- not only do you always support me and somehow manage to be here to read my posts every single time- (You simply don’t know how much that means to me!) BUT. you always share such beautiful words in response. Oh how grateful I am for YOU, my friend!!! I hope you have a MARVELOUS Mother’s day sweetheart!!! XOXO
Love love love these process posts! And yours is so very you friend 🙂 thanks for sharing with us!
Thanks for coming by to read mine, Tricia!! I need to get over and read yours!! (I don’t think I got to that one- shame on me.)
You don’t belong in a corner. A Christian corner, a mom corner, or any corner for that matter. You have too many good things to say and are an inspiration to all of us in all corners. I’m so glad our corners crossed. Keep writing my dear girl. The world needs you. xo
*You simply don’t know how BLESSED I am to share corners of this world together* YOU. Oh how I love you…
another jennifer says
So fun to hear about your process, Chris. I am not surprised that you put so much thought into it. Your posts are always wonderful and inspirational. And you’re accomplishing your mission. Now I have to actually think about my own process!
Oh Jen, you just don’t know how much your support and encouragement mean to me. Thank you dear friend- for all of it. You are SUCH a blessing to ME!!!
Can’t WAIT to read yours!!! XOXO
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
I loved hearing about your process. I was supposed to do this on Monday and I haven’t done it yet. For shame. Maybe for this Monday. I feel very lame. But then again, that is my process, by the seat of my pants!
Hey Michelle- your process WORKS!!! So keep on keeping on girl!!! 🙂
And that’s why we love you, Chris.
You’re not in any corners – you’re just spreading your love everywhere!
I love this post because it’s just so..YOU! So fantastically you.
Oh T!! YOU. Oh you! Thank you. *Tears*
I am constantly blessed by you…
I love learning all of this about your process. Isn’t it amazing how we start something and then it evolves and changes over time?
I love that you are so open and loving to people of all faiths. I think that makes your message of Christ’s love so much more powerful.
Keep up the good work sister!
I loved reading about your writing process!!!
And I can’t wait until you have a peace about the type of book you should write so that you can get started on it!!!
Thanks so much Kim! Your support and encouragement means the WORLD to me!!! XOXO
As far as the book? Put on your Nike shoes at 2am and Just Do It!!!! As you are plenty old enough in years to know now (ha ha), we rarely regret the challenges/risks we take on….God will bless your process!!!
I leave with this key thought . We so often get more out of the journey than the destination. It may be the cliche you recognize (think I got a tank top this spring that says it !) but here’s the thing; You keep saying that you know God ‘has this’ as far as where things are heading for you etc…with writing. You are so right and who knows what the future may bring and what countless lives you still have to touch. BUT… don’t for any moment in time lose touch with the fact that you already HAVE and already ARE inspiring and touching many lives….let yourself feel fulfilled (i mean in the 100% way)by just that! Let yourself know that you are and have been already LIVING the journey that God wanted for you…let yourself feel that satisfaction and just enjoy this precious medium through which you are connecting. Let it be enough. You already ARE fulfilling his purpose for Him. Will it get even better, bigger, bolder??? Maybe! But either way, He already is proud of your works, and wants you to feel the contentment that he intends for us when we follow His path for our lives….We all have a tendency with our anxious human hearts to constantly be yearning, wanting, wishing, expecting more out of ourselves. I believe this passion is what God uses to propel us in His plans. However, I think we tend to get too focused on listening to our human inside voice telling us we should be doing more more more better better better and we won’t be fully pleased until we get “THERE”. We ALL are weak in this. We need to continue to progress each day but we need to know that in His eyes we are already ‘there’. We are doing, saying, impacting, and writing enough and He wants us to revel in the awesomeness that we are already sharing the fruits that He gave us. Proud of you sis. XOXO
As far as the book? Put on your Nike shoes at 2am and Just Do It!!!! As you are plenty old enough in years to know now (ha ha), we rarely regret the challenges/risks we take on….God will bless your process!!! OHMYGOSH I am STILL laughing at the ‘put on your Nike shoes at 2am and JUST DO IT’!!! LOLOL
How is it that you speak so deeply to my heart sister? Oh, how I love you. Your faith. Your encouragement. Your wisdom. Your insight. Your support. Your love.
Thank you for this. It has truly helped me realign my perspective in more ways than you know. My new mantra? “I am already here, in His Plan…and He is pleased…therefore I am too…”
Mary Widdicks says
I love getting to see all the different methods that writers have. This is such a fun blog tour! 🙂
I am SO gonna go read yours now Mary!!! 🙂
My Inner Chick says
****the unique difference with me, is that I am a Christian blogger in the mainstream***
Now, this is exactly how GOD is using you, my dear sweet insightful beautiful girl.. XXX
Your precious encouragement fills my HEART. XXX
I agree with you completely – you are in a niche all your own! Whatever your process, it is a joy to read what you have written – each and every time.
Honestly Dana, coming from YOU especially- this means the world to me!!!! Oh, how I appreciate you!!! XOXO
Rabia @TheLiebers says
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your process, Chris! I love seeing how other people do what they do! And I love that you are sticking to the mainstream. The mainstream really needs to hear your voice!
Oh Thanks so so much Rabia!!! I appreciate your support always, my friend. 🙂
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says
These posts are so interesting to me! You will never “settle into the corners” because your spirit and your words are so beautiful. I love that you start by praying and pour so much o yourself into each post. And that book??? I am certainly not God, but I say write it!! It would be fabulous and touch so many people. XOXO
Oh Lisa…. thank you friend. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!!! Soaking it in. 🙂
I love that you read and re-read and step outside yourself and wait, with prayer and patience. Amazing. God is definitely using your voice/platform/talent in his service. I am so happy to have found you and love reading your posts.
Oh Stephanie! Thank you friend. Soaking in all your sweet encouragement!
I love how everyone is sharing their process! It’s amazing and inspiring …..and a bit discouraging because…. I don’t think I have a process! LOL
perhaps that’s something to work on.
You have a process!! It’s just so natural to you, that you don’t really focus on the actual details that go on in your sweet mind and heart of yours… I bet if you really tuned in, you would realize there is are significant pieces that contribute to your writing and creating and photography and mission… 🙂
Just to say on the days when you might ever pause to wonder–you are fulfilling your goal! Every single thing you write touches others and is chock full of hope and encouragement–xo, sweet friend!
Oh Meredith! How you bless me so…
Your encouragement means the WORLD to me. I take it to the deep places of my heart… and remind myself of your words often. XOXO
Thank you. Thank you so very much.