Why I Do What I Do

Many writers have been blogging about their writing process lately, and I got tagged by YA Fantasy author, Valerie Biel to do so. Valerie’s author of the young adult novel, Circle of Nine – Beltany—which is coming out this summer! Check it out!

For this blog hop, I’m channeling my inner “Dusty” from Twister, and sharing…

Well alright.

What am I working on?

I am working on a humorous non-fiction book called Oops Baby.

Oops BabyThat’d be me.

I’m writing it in the style of David Sedaris, with each chapter more of a humorous essay. All of them tie together in that they illustrate my attempts to fit in – “making pathetic look cool since 1985.”  I am in the deep edits phase and have a deadline for sending it out in July, which means I’m going a little crazy right now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Humorous essays are pretty common in most humor books/comical memoirs. I guess mine varies because it’s like Anne of Green Gables meets Saturday Night Live, and Anne is tossed into bizarre situational scenes like making an entire glacial replica out of cake or finding an evil donkey in her bed.

#TrueStory

Why do I write what I do?

I firmly believe that everyone has a story. For years, I’ve wanted to share mine, but had always been told that since I’m not famous, who would care about me or what I had to say? So I started a fiction book. A paranormal YA book. When that didn’t work, I started a women’s fiction book. I made it about 35,000 words into that story before I gave up too. This cost me two years.

One year and one month ago, I quit my job and started writing a new book. My book. Now, with a new job, and just under half my chapters to finish editing, I feel like I’m on the right path.

How does my writing process work?

Coffee TimeI’m a social butterfly when I’m in my element. I like connecting with people and need the recognition and motivation to keep going, so what worked best for me when I was writing the first draft was Twitter sprints!

I loved doing timed writing sprints and congratulating the other writers participating with me. A group of us connected weekly, if not daily, and all championed each others’ work.

A big A-Ha moment in my writing process was learning I don’t have to write linearly. I can’t. I get stuck and then don’t know where to go with my story. What I did this time was write a long list of story ideas for each chapter, and each day I just picked one. Whatever inspired me most that day. Then when I finished the draft, I arranged them like a puzzle, and looked for what was missing.

Coffee Shop 1For editing, having a writers group has been priceless. I value and appreciate the honesty with which the women in my group generate critique. All of it comes from them wanting to help make each others’ writing the best possible, and that is a precious gift – to learn not just from what they say about my piece, but to each other, about all our works. I always leave with things to think about and ways to strengthen my writing.

I recently gained a new critique partner as well, and it is a joy beta reading for her and receiving her notes back to me. We write in the same genre, so of course it’s a hoot to help each other out!

*****

Tag! If they would like to participate, I’m going to tag the following writers, and they can share their writing process if they want to:

My amazing critique partner and fellow Wisconsinite, Deanne M. Schultz.

The sassy and sensual erotica author, Kitt Crescendo.

and the philosophical, world traveler, Liz, of Be Love Live.

*****

Why do you do what you do?

 

 

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13 responses

  1. I can’t wait to read your story, Jess! 😀

    1. Thanks Diana! You and all those twitter sprints are a big reason why I made it this far!

      1. I’ve been missing our twitter sprints! They helped me, too. Glad to have such good company while working!

        1. I agree. Harder for me to do now over the lunch hour but I could on weekends!

  2. I guess first I would have to figure out what the heck I DO, before I figure out WHY. 😉

    I do what I do because it pays me and I’m good at it. I don’t love it, but I have to do it. For now.

    1. Been there! I totally get it. I’ll be praying things either change for the better or you get a fantastic new outlook on life. You’re always welcome to loiter at the happiness project! 😉

  3. I once found an evil donkey in my bed, too.

    It was my ex-wife, who loved to vote Democrat…

  4. karenmcfarland | Reply

    A cross between ” Anne of Green Gables meets Saturday Night Live.” I love it Jess! I’m so glad you’ve found your calling. Don’t make us wait to long to read it! Hurry up girl. Geez, it’s not like you have a wedding to plan or anything. Get with the program already!!! 🙂

    1. Ohmygosh ya! And I just finished a huge week long project of events at work. It’s been crazy. Really looking forward to Memorial Day weekend and getting some extra writing time.

  5. Jess, it’s been such fun to go along with you on this adventure! You truly personify a happiness project!

    1. Aww so sweet! Thank you Patricia!

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