Monday, 25 August 2014

Writer's Q&A: Last Stop on the Virtual Blog Tour...

Last week I was incredibly flattered to be asked to take part in a Virtual Blog Tour by Mummy Tries. Basically everyone who takes part answers the same questions with regards to their blogging and writing and then they pass the baton onto three other people who do the same a week later. You can read Mummy Tries' post from last week here.

So, to start with, here's my Q&A:

1. What am I working on?
In a professional capacity I'm currently editing a craft book written by a good friend of mine. I regularly edit books for publishers of craft books - knitting, sewing, crochet, you name it! So when a regular client of mine emailed me about editing a book written by one of my old editors I was thrilled - how the tables have turned, haha! Anyway, it's all top secret and hush hush but I am so enjoying working on it because I know that the author is passionate about what she does and wants the book to be as good as it can be, so we're off to a good start!

In terms of personal projects I don't have much on the go at the moment. Finding time to write for myself is a constant battle but I have a list of things as long as my arm which I would like to write, develop and achieve, both for myself, this blog and my business. I have to remember that there isn't a time limit on things and that life is seasonal and I must enjoy the season I am in!

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I'm not even sure what my genre is! My career has been built around craft editing but I would never make it as a craft author - it's not my thing! I swing between parenting, self-employment, current affairs and motivational pieces so it's a bit of a  melting pot of whatever's going on in my life at the point. The dream would be to write opinion pieces for women's lifestyle publications - I'm getting very opinionated in my old age! Once I start doing it, I'll let you know what my USP is!

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I've always been a bit of a writer or dreamer - I think the two go hand-in-hand! I knew from the age of nine that I wanted to be a journalist (Lois Lane was my hero) and so that's what I worked towards all through school and uni. I was very blessed to end up working in the industry but the crafting side of things was a total accident! I'm glad it happened though.

I write because it gives me an outlet. I think when you become a mum you do slowly lose a sense of your own identity - especially if you give up your career and move to a different place like I did. I never thought I would but as time has gone on and life has become more demanding I am starting to feel a little oout of touch with myself. Writing helps me remember who I am, what I'm good at and helps me to articulate my thoughts before I implode! It's also allowed me to make some really good online friends and given me opportunities I could never dream of.

4. What is your writing process?
I wouldn't necessarily say I have a process. If I'm editing then I book myself blocks of time, get a babysitter and take my laptop to Caffe Nero for a latte. I then work there for a few hours or until the job is done. With personal projects it's entirely different!

I walk everywhere - pushing the buggy into town or to the supermarket or to the shopping centre - walking is what fills my days. And it's normally while I'm walking that an idea drops into my head. I'm normally a bit emotional or melancholic when it happens and then I speed walk to the nearest bench where I stop to write it down. I carry a notebook everywhere. If they're lucky then these scrawlings might then get written up on my laptop and possibly onto the blog. But to find time I have to get up at 5am so it's a bit hit and miss!

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Now, here's my confession.... I left it a bit late to find some other writerly bloggers to join in. I'm sorry guys, I have broken the chain!

However, I thought it might be useful if I still linked up to some other writerly sites and resources which I've found particularly useful since going freelance. Here goes:

Jeff Goins
I've been reading Jeff's blog for years and his simple message of the Writer's Manifesto and You Are a Writer (so start acting like one) is what allowed me to just jump right in and start 'being' rather than measuring my worth on what I was 'doing' (which at the time, wasn't very much!). He writes about writing, discipline, aiming high, making a difference and being all that you were created to be. Definitely worth a read if you're feeling like you're failing at being a writer!

No Contacts? No Problem!
No Contacts? No Problem! How to pitch and sell a freelance feature by Catherine Quinn was the first book I bought when I finished maternity leave and thought I'd try to make a go of this freelance gig. Granted, I haven't yet actually got into the feature writing game yet (it's on the To Do List), but it did teach me that freelancing is all a numbers game. If you don't ask, you won't get and the more you ask, the more likely you are to be successful. When I do take the leap into freelance feature writing (as time allows), this will be my go-to guide as it's full of practical tips, step-by-step guides and no-nonsense advice.



Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop
If you're stuck for inspiration but want to write something then check out Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Every week provides a writing prompt and then, should you choose, you can link up and everyone can read it. If you're partial to a link-up and relish the challenge of leaving your comfort zone then go here, pick a prompt and write a post. Some of my best, most contemplative writing has come from this linky. I haven't joined in for a long time but when I was first starting out and blogging for pleasure (pre-selfemployment!) this was a weekly pleasure for me. Nowadays I worry about whether what I write should be directly linked to my business, or whether it's professional enough, but if you're still in the hazy days of blogging and writing for pleasure with no restrictions then go and join Kat here!

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Once again, many apologies for letting you all down on the Blog Tour as there is now no one to pick up the baton! If you're a blogger who loves to write and would like to take the format and carry it on then please do - let me know and I'll give you a shout-out on social media and maybe a little blog post to boot!

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