The ‘Why We Write’ Blog Tour

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Why I do, What I do, When I do it

First of all, let me say how wonderful it is that I can be part of this wonderful blog tour and with this group of amazing writers. It is a privilege.

I am a part-time blogger. I am still working at what I like to call “the Salt Mines”. The Salt Mines is a well-paying very corporate job.  You know, the kind were women wear business suits and pumps, and have the appropriate mid-length-bob haircuts.  It isn’t an easy job by any means, but I like it. Lately though, I know this isn’t what I am meant to be doing forever. Writing speaks to me in a way work doesn’t.

I thought at some point I’d write trashy novels and work from the local coffee shop.  So, ‘til then, blogging is a wonderful way to learn about myself and people. Although my readership is small- I’ve learned a lot from  the things my readers asked me like this:

Why do you focus on women? After launch, several close man-friends of mine asked why my blog was for women?  They’d read it and liked it.  It made me look at what I was writing and I realized that growing old isn’t for sissies. Both men and women struggle with it and want to share it  and maybe learn from each other.

Why focus on mid-life? I also thought I’d write for mid-life readers- until I was asked why by enough 30-something’s.  I thought that my writing was only about things faced in mid-life. But, they related to what I wrote about- love, work-life, family, friends, fun and how life can be a little painful sometimes.  They were pretty vocal that my blog spoke to them. So, it’s no longer about midlife only.

How can you be so brave? Okay, this one threw me. I didn’t think it was brave to write my stories. I didn’t think it was brave to share my history with people. I haven’t had an easy life, sure. But I don’t know any princesses who danced through live with magical husbands and kids.   I have always believed that  maybe if I tell my story someone who needs help will read it.  Then, they will be able to be a bit more brave. Making a change in their life is what’s really being brave. My part is just writing and that’s easy.

So, here’s what my “process” is:

How does my writing process work and why do I write what I do?

I’ve written marketing copy for years, and I just start with that; free-form on the lap top. I don’t stop to wordsmith, just put spaces as placeholders to thoughts.  I use the computer from start to finish, no paper and pen for me. At the end of that I have the basic thoughts down. Then I spend the rest of the time editing, rewriting, and eliminating.  I am a quick writer. It’s getting it to finish that’s tougher.

What does take time is all the social media stuff. It’s much harder. That was the biggest surprise of this blogging deal. I’m okay with social media,  but not a lover of technology. If you knew my day job you’d laugh at that. I run the public website for the largest regional bank in the US. But I don’t code, and I don’t think with a “techy” mind.  I would say I hate WordPress but I’m scared the computer gnomes will blow up my site in retaliation.

Still, I keep doing it because the best things I’ve learned is that people tell me what I write means something to them. When I wrote a blog about why I decided to finish college in my 40s, a woman thanked me because it encouraged her to go back and graduate.  When I write about struggles I’ve gone through, people relate and say “me too, thanks for reminding me….”. It’s also made me realize that we all go through the same things and its okay to be brave and talk about them. 

This post is part of a blog tour about the writing process.  Please click the following links to read other writers’ versions of their own process:

Marci Rich

Jane Gassner

Janie Emaus

Walker Thornton

Lisa Froman

Helene Bludman

Mindy Klapper Trotta

Cathy Chester

Linda Maltz Wolff

Lois Alter Mark

Cheryl Nicholl

Laura Lee Carter

And stay tuned for our next blogger Elizabeth Flora Ross, who has been writing professionally and personally for more than 20 years. As a communications and marketing professional, she wrote for some of the biggest names in business. Today, she is a freelance writer appearing on leading sites across the web. She posts weekly for The Huffington Post, where her work has been featured on multiple verticals. And is a Word of Mom blogger for What to Expect. On her personal blog, The Writer Revived, Elizabeth posts about her struggles and successes as a mother and writer.

 

Comments

  1. I love your honesty, your thoughts and your process. Learning about why you do what you do is wonderful; how you fit all of this into the hours of your day is miraculous!

    Thanks so much for sharing, my friend.

    • Virginia says:

      Cathy, one of the things that keeps me going is inspirational people I’ve met like you. I really have enjoyed getting to know you all. Virginia

  2. I have been called, “brave” before as well, and had the same reaction you did. I don’t know any other way to be than open and honest. And, I have benefitted so much from sharing my life stories – even the difficult ones – and connecting with people who can relate. It’s an honor and a bonus if it somehow helps others.

    I’m with you on the social media stuff. While I do enjoy it, it can be overwhelming at times.

    • Virginia says:

      That has been a great surprise Elizabeth, I really can’t keep up with much more than FB and Twitter. I miss the FTF of friends over coffee- but the people I’ve met like yourself has more than made up for it.

    • Virginia says:

      YOu are an amazing and wonderful writer Elizabeth. I’m so grateful to have met you. Virginia

  3. Sounds like we’re on the same page. LOL. I also work as a marketing/communications writer.
    I feel fortunate to have it…though I wish I had more time to focus on my other writing. Thanks for sharing; I enjoyed reading about your background.

  4. Thank you for this. I can see you in the future writing those trashy novels and work from the local coffee shop. Sometimes I look back on what my life as been like and I can say it has been an adventure and sisters like you and the other three have been part of the very best. Love you all and I love reading you blogs. They are well done and I congratulate you for what you have accomplished in your life. Love you

    • Virginia says:

      Yes, well that trashy novel thing seems to be pretty far-off in the distance. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to leave the salt mines! But, i’ll keep at it. XXOO

  5. Princess banana hammock says:

    I dig your posts mama!

  6. Love it! I did this blog tour last week too! It’s so fun to read about everyone’s process!

  7. Lately I’ve been asking myself “Why I don’t write.” I’m happiest when I do, but I often choose to let daily life get in the way. I can certainly find enough reasons to not have the time or energy to write before or after a day at the salt mines, but then I feel dissatisfied, incomplete and unexpressed. It’s really fear that stops me from writing. Writing is about looking over the edge, accepting the vertiginous feeling and putting down the words. Thank you Virginia, for the inspiration.

  8. Virginia, such a nice post. I so enjoying reading these pieces about writing. Can identify with your thoughts and feelings.

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