Why Write? Because You Should Always 'Listen to Your Mother'

2) How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre?
Genre? That's one of those scary words that can frighten off those of us who aren't too confident about our writing. All this writing and blogging nonsense began for me back in San Diego when I was so miserable I couldn't stand myself. After wallowing the first year we were there, I decided it was time to build a life for myself. It all centered around my novel-in-progress, Bluebirds, which I've been working on intermittently for six years or more. I haven't abandoned Bluebirds, and I still work on it from time-to-time. But it was proving really hard to write because I found myself trying to fit in too much memoir. Thus, My Grandfather's Table was born--a story of contrasts that flows between the nurturing, love, and nourishment that was freely given me as a child, against the shame and sadness of untold secrets that I believe led to my struggle as a young single mother. It's my quest to forgive and to love myself through food instead of punish myself with food. I need to exorcise the memoir bits in order to just tell the beautiful story that I believe Bluebirds is meant to be someday--because my Gramps continues posthumously to tell me so through birds

3) Why do I write what I do?
I've covered that specifically with question two, but overall, it's honestly to keep myselfsane. As women, as mothers, we often judge one another. Through sharing my writing, I feel so blessed to have experienced the fellowship and support of other writers, which has led to so very much more than I’d ever dreamed possible. Between my trip to meet and learn from Laura Munson at Haven, and being a part of Listen to Your Mother, this is shaping up as an incredible year. I don’t believe I would have tried without Haven. And I don’t believe I would have tried without the support of my wonderful midlife women blogger friends of Midlife Boulevard. This is what they mean by tribe: I had fought the compulsion to write my whole life, pushed it aside as something frivolous and silly because I lacked a college degree. I had to seek out coaches and like-minded individuals andsurround myself with their support, energy, and encouragement in order to feel justified in pursuing writing as a career. Because of my history, because of shame, because of allowing myself to be defined by perceived failure, before I wasn't enough. The sky truly is our only limit, anything else is only what we hold over ourselves. 

You are enough and you and your story matter: you have the ability to impact yourself and others in ways you can’t yet imagine. GANE Possible: make your life what you’ve alwayswanted it to be…and bring someone else along for the ride. Why do I feel compelled to share my story? To be better for myself, for my family, to follow in my grandfather's footsteps and fully embrace and engage in this life I'm so blessed to have (especially if, like my grandfather, I live to 100!), and to help others do the same.   

4) How does my writing process work?
Ugh! My writing "process" isn't one I can highly recommend if production (organization? what’s that?) and completion is your goal--and yet I've built three websites and produced a TON of writing over the last three years. I need to give myself credit for that! I probablywrite more in the Evernote app on my phone, standing naked and dripping wet in the bathroom, than I do actually sitting at my keyboard. I pray it’s the water that inspires my cancer spirit and not the cracked pink tiles that line all. four. walls. of the loo in the rental we currently occupy. I have many projects of my own in process, as well as volunteering, consulting, and freelance work. Taking time to focus on my own writing is always a challenge. The good news is, when I do, I have a ready list of notes from which to copy and paste. I can then take off with fingers flying and often produce thousands of words at a sitting. Like I said, I can’t recommend it. It’s definitely the "pantser" method, whereas I would likely benefit greatly and produce more from adopting at least pieces of the plotter method. That's Ami's very large and essential piece of #Write2TheEnd, thankfully!***Knowing our own weaknesses and joining forces with those who fill our gaps is a brilliant strategy I highly recommend! It's worked for my husband and me over almost twenty years of marriage, even though my creative "process" exasperates him!*** I’m trying to get my new office completed in the next two weeks so I can move in and be better organized. *sigh* Yet another project on my very long list. It’s difficult working from home when there’s no separation of work hours and family or (barely existent) leisure hours. I look forward to having designated work time and space. I will have to figure out where and when my writing time is most productive. Perhaps I will devise a hanger for the doorknob to my office that says, “Gone Writing.” 

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