My Writing Process.

It was a BlogHer editor who first gave me “permission” to call myself a writer, even though she made it clear I had been born with that permission. It was after my first post was syndicated on BlogHer and I said, “Can I call myself a writer yet? I want to shout from the rooftops: ‘I’m a writer, a writer, a writer.” And she wrote back these nine words I’ll never forget:

“Yes, Tamara. You’re a writer, a writer, a writer!”

We do not need permission to call ourselves writers, although it took me a long time to admit that I am one. It’s not the fact that I get paid to write, although that helps. It’s not the fact that I co-authored a book, although that helps. It’s not the three-times-a-week blog posting, although that surely made me see it some more. It’s mostly the fact that I have written since I could hold a pencil, and before that, I dreamed in stories and poems. It’s not always as evident/visible as my photography thing..

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..but I can assure you it means just as much.

So when I was tagged/asked by Kerstin of Auer Life to participate in a Blog Author Tour to write about my writing process, I hesitated, but only because I had two sick kids and a new puppy and couldn’t get to my computer. After that, I said “yes.”

“Heck, yes,” in fact. Here are some questions/answers about my writing process:

1. What am I working on?

Oh, what a question! What am I not working on, is more like it? I’m going to answer this generally, because although I’m a writer answering writing questions, there is just much more to the story. I would love to tell you I’m sitting here completing that novel I want to write about love, anxiety and photography – and where those three things meet, but I’m not there yet. Right now I’m working on training a puppy, registering Scarlet for kindergarten and summer camp, learning to understand and translate Des’ “toddlerspeak” and making him very happy and relieved in the process, and I’m also working on building a photography business. Oh yeah – and summer travel, house guests, anniversaries and princess birthday parties. I write in between blog commenting, eating homemade popcorn, and editing photos that are from early January. Better late than never, right?

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2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Oh, cool! Do I have a genre? I’d love to have a genre! I think that it stems from the fact that no two people are alike, so no two writing minds are alike. And since my writing requires less structured thinking, and more free-thinking without knowing what I’m about to say, I’d have to say that my mind is being poured into it. And I have a unique mind the way you do. People have said my writing/photography is like having them over for coffee. So when you do meet me and you see what my kids look like and I open my mouth to speak it’s not vastly different from what you take from this blog. And I have a specific structuring style that I learned with my major in Journalism. I graduated with high honors too, because I am fiercely competitive and ambitious.


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(My mom scanned this oldie but goodie for me.)

3. Why do I write what I do?

Quite frankly, there’s no other choice! Every time I sit down at my computer, I really have no idea what’s going to come out. It’s how I process anxiety, love and parenting best – through writing. If I have nothing to say, or it’s not ready to come, I don’t really write. I’ll participate in a linkup or I may use a set of photos/stories/truths and lies type of post. It’s rare for this to happen, though. Usually if I post an Ask Away Friday, 30 Things I Want My Kids To Know, or Truths & Lies post, it’s been pre-scheduled.

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4. How does my writing process work?

I do think it’s changed over the years, but not by that much. I generally have a note in my Notes app on my phone and I keep a loose schedule there, along with several ideas. I rarely dip into the ideas because I’m usually backed up with things I want to write about. Which is nice. In the olden blogging days, I would panic on the night before I wanted to post because I hadn’t a clue what to write! And it would always come. I’m deeply a deadlines girl. You give me a deadline and the ideas start flowing. You give me open-ended and I tread water. I ALWAYS make my deadlines. Just ask my editors. I post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and I’m usually about 1-2 weeks ahead with what I want to write planned out. However it’s always subject to changes in my mood, or changes in life. There was a Monday I had planned to talk about anxiety, but I was surprised with a puppy the previous Friday. So I wrote about the puppy on Monday and then pushed the ideas back a few days. The puppy post couldn’t wait!

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On Fridays, I always do Ask Away Friday (#AAF) and every other Friday, I combine Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party with it. It’s a nice break on Thursday nights to write within a structure and formula. I still supply unique ideas and photos, but the outline is already there. I’d love to tell you there is a same time every day that I write, but that’s not very possible with a puppy and a toddler, and preschool dropoff and pickup. Plus with spring here, I am not indoors a lot. I write when I want to write. I write when the words come, and if there’s no time for that when it happens, I at least stop everything (within reason) to jot down notes, and then I’ll write when I can. I like to write when no one else is around (rare in the day) and I put Pandora on shuffle.


Next week on April 14th, the Blog Author Tour moves to two fantastic writers: Nancy of The Real Nani, and Lisa of The Golden Spoons.

I actually first knew Nancy in real life and before my blog. We met nearly four years ago at a local farmer’s market. She’s a radiant being with three of the most beautiful children known to existence. Her writing reminds me somewhat of my own, or at least it reminds me of my thinking. ‘Cause isn’t that what writing really is? The way we think? It’s not the way we hold our pens or our keyboards, but how we bring forth our stories and ideas.

Lisa is my blog friend, my co-author of “The Mother of all Meltdowns”, and we’re going to meet soon at BlogU – to learn more about writing, of course. We have had similar processes of becoming mothers and not going back to previous jobs/careers – but instead learning slowly what else we want to do out here in this great big world.


What is your writing process like? Streamlined or zany, or somewhere in between?

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  1. I’m so glad you joined in. Heck yes you’re a writer!
    I loved reading about your process – very inspiring. And you know how I feel about your photography πŸ™‚
    So glad I found you through Ilene.

    1. Thanks for asking me! It was fun to sit down and think about the way I write, because I don’t do that a lot and it’s nice to see what works and what doesn’t.
      Ilene is the best blog matchmaker EVER!

  2. I’m so glad Kerstin asked you to join the tour!

    I like that – write when you want to write. That’s me too. I also work well with deadlines, because I’m task-oriented πŸ™‚

    1. I’m so honored to be a stop on this tour that YOU’RE on!
      I can’t imagine doing this full-time for money. I imagine I’d do it differently. However, photography, puppy, kids, etc. I gotta do what I gotta do.

  3. I usually just write whatever I can think of. And even though my writing is not the best in the world, I consider it my passion and one of the best things I’m confident of doing so I usually claim that yes, I’m a writer coz it helps when I’m writing something. πŸ™‚ I like that you have a posting schedule, I know from before that you’re posting MWF and it helps to check your blog easily for new posts. I wish I can do the same. Haha πŸ˜€

    1. You’re a writer and a blogger! And I think considering that it’s your passion does make it that much better. And the confidence. That’s the good stuff!
      I try to keep track of when people post, but luckily Bloglovin keeps me in line! Otherwise I’d miss so much. I used to miss so much..

  4. Heck yes, you’re a writer. You’re also hard act to follow but I’m honored to attempt it! (Also, only four years? Seems like a lifetime ago, what with adding more children, moving house, etc…)

    1. Funny, in some ways the four years seems like a long time ago! In other ways, like nothing. I mean, Stella was a newborn when we met! And Des/Micah were nowhere to be seen! (I didn’t even know I’d have another)
      Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you write. And heck yes, you’re a writer too!

  5. My writing process includes putting my feet up, scroll FB infinitely, read other blogs, stare at the ceiling, get sidetracked with sappy videos and a little bit of writing happens just when I my eyes are tired of staring at the monitor, then I promise myself to finish it the following day. πŸ™

    1. I like your style!!
      Sometimes it’s just like that for me, but add in that I snack on Cadbury mini eggs that I keep in my desk drawer.

  6. Not only are you a writer, but you’re one of my favorite writers. And, I’m not alone in that! Love the picture of you from graduation. It screams pure joy!

    1. Aw, you made my day!!
      I love that graduation photo because the guy next to me was my good friend. And I was really happy! (mostly to not have to do 5-6 articles a week anymore..)

  7. Love hearing your answers to these questions. I too struggling with saying, “I am a writer.” Had a conversation yesterday on the soccer field side lines where I heard myself saying ‘Well, but I just write a blog and a for regional parenting publications.’ I wish I could get that ‘just’ word out of my elevator speech but it seems to creep in nearly every time! Brava to you for screaming “I am a writer!” from the rooftops!

    1. Thanks! I started saying it more proudly as time went on. And I still remember the first time I told someone I was a professional photographer. It was weird! I felt like a hack! Sometimes I still do.

  8. I love hearing about other bloggers’ writing processes and I’m so glad you have tagged me to participate next week. I agree completely with the scheduling. If I just sit in front of a blank computer, nothing happens. I also struggled with #2. They say, as a blogger, you should “find your voice.” There are so many mom bloggers out there that is hard to do. Oh well – I could write paragraphs about all this, but I’ll save it for my post! πŸ™‚

    1. I can’t wait to read your post! And when I was commenting on these same posts last week, I couldn’t say a lot because I was saving it all for this.
      We all do have unique voices. I think people suffer when they’re trying too hard to stray from what’s in their hearts.
      You do not have that problem.

  9. I’m not sure I could write a whole post on my writing process like you just did! I mull ideas over in my head, and sometimes I write something good from those ideas; sometimes I go in a completely different direction, and those are usually my best posts, and then sometimes nothing happens when I start to write!

    1. I didn’t think I could either! So much of what I do is really rather serendipitous. It used to be 100% that way, but I needed a little structure. It’s a nice mix.

  10. I seriously am so excited about doing this, too. Lisa asked me for the week after her and seriously I started answering the questions as soon as I had free time, because this one truly is such a special series to be a part of. And sounds like we have more in commons hen reading your answers, because I totally jot my thoughts in my notepad as they come to me and I also shift my posts around as to my mood and as they come to me. πŸ™‚

    1. I was so happy she asked you because you were totally on my list to ask but I had been talking to Lisa that day. And then she asked you so it worked out perfectly!
      Don’t we always have something fantastic in common? Yes!

  11. I’m not terribly organized, although I want to be. I have a gazillion ideas started and not finished. I need to just sit down and get it done, but life usually gets in the way. This weekend we had company and soccer games all over the place and I got nothing done…but I had a great time just living life.

    1. That’s kinda why I love this blogging thing – and being your own boss. You have ideas. You have slow periods. You sometimes want to party with friends and family for days on end. And that’s ok too.
      This is just my speed.

  12. I love reading your blog because I love your writing style. I have tendency to write the way I talk and think, which can come across as eloquent or crazy depending upon the day. When it comes to deadlines, well, I’m a procrastinator but it always gets done. My professors can attest to that for sure! Either way, you are a writer and you are amazing at what you do all around. You’re inspirational and I cannot tell you how happy I am that I found you and your blog (now that I’m thinking about what I just wrote, the last part sounds a little odd, but I’ve decided that’s okay, lol).

    1. Thanks! Back at you!
      It is really fun to see what people say. I mean, even if someone’s process involves eating chocolate and taking breaks every ten minutes, if it works for them, it means it works!

  13. Tamara, you quickly became one of my favorite writers to read and I though you had been doing it longer. You make it look flawless! I don’t really know if I have a processes. I don’t think heavily about what I am going to write but I am very new to the game!

  14. So interesting to read this. I don’t get anxious about many things, but deadlines make me anxious. I have 46 entries in my Future Posts folder in Evernote, but maybe a quarter of those will ever make it. But having them there comforts me.

    Sometimes I will write a sentence or two and think, “This sounds like Tamara.” The writers that I read and love somehow work themselves into my psyche and I will occasionally channel their style into my own. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens with you. Now if only I could channel your photography skills!

    1. That’s so cool! I have that feeling too sometimes. With you and a few others. And even with non-writers, when I first started dating Cassidy, I’d do a California drawl/phrase the way he does. It made me feel closer to him, actually.

  15. Yes, you are a writer! I used to have trouble calling myself a writer before, but now I’m more comfortable with it. It’s how I make my living! I’m with you on the deadline thing. Without a deadline, I may or may not get stuff done. But I can crank just about anything out with that extra pressure. Is that my process? I don’t know. It’s hard to describe a writing process, as it’s so different for people.

    1. Yes, I can imagine that if it’s how you make your living, you really do have to admit it!
      I have trouble with the photographer thing too. It’s definitely easier to tell people I’m a parent.

  16. You are an amazing writer Tamara! I think in a blind reading test (as I no names, not as in “me being blind. That obviously wouldn’t work!) I could pick your words out of a lineup! Thanks for sharing your process with us!

  17. You know me, Tamara. My writing is instructional, not as free-flowing as yours.. which seems much more fun. However, the creative juices are always flowing, as I find inspiration for new posts in all aspects of my life. So I feel like the writing is always processing in a sub-server somewhere in my brain while I carry on with daily activity.

    1. I think instructional sounds fun too – especially the way you are inspired by it.
      And I hear you about that sub-server thing. My brain is often doing things that I don’t know it’s doing!

  18. I’m so glad you were asked to answer these questions! I wish I was more of a deadlines/planning in advance type of person. Sometimes things flow really well- like last week when I was on a train for 3 1/2 hours and didn’t use the wifi until the end: I got so much writing done! It was a beautiful thing. I love having posts mostly written way better I actually need to publish them…but that’s so rare.
    Love the topmost picture! πŸ™‚

    1. Ooh, very productive on the train! I’d probably be eating chocolate and staring out the window.
      There are times where it feels laborious, though – reading blogs, writing blogs, commenting, etc. In those instances, I just have to assume I need some fresh air and/or exercise.

    1. That’s awesome! I like consistency so much. I wish I could do it, but even without the kids/dog, I still have trouble with it. Boo on me.

  19. I’m also all about deadlines. As much as I like to give myself space to be creative, I also do best when I have that little bit of structure. It forces me to pin down my ideas a bit more. And I too keep a huge running list of ideas on an app, most of which I may never get to because so many new ideas keep cropping up!

    1. Every now and then I have to clear out an old day. It’s either too dated and I have to delete it, or I actually manage to accomplish a post about it. That’s always fun.

  20. I feel like I’m always writing in my head, hoping the thoughts will stay there until I can get them to paper. I never thought I had a writing process and that almost kept me from blogging. I was scared the thoughts and writing wouldn’t be fluid or make sense. I now have a very distinct process that keeps me on track…for now. I give myself very strict deadlines. My poor family, I always get a little frazzled on posting day. Need to work on that.

    1. Oh I hear you! My poor family too. It’s gotten smoother over the years and I hope it will get even more so. Sometimes I just really need a break to be with them. Sometimes I really just need a break from them to do this.

  21. Oh, shoot. Your email about this ended up in a folder in my Gmail and I read it, meant to reply, and then didn’t look in that folder again. And out of sight out of mind. I love reading your answers to the questions. I’m not sure how I missed the fact that you were a journalism major, but it makes perfect sense to me. It’s wonderful that you always have so much to write about. I always have lots of material – so many thoughts and life events, etc. – but sometimes I can’t figure out what I want to say about it all or how to say it. That’s what holds me up.

    1. I have been there with the gmail folders thing. It happens!
      I’m not sure I’ve talked about the journalism major very often – not sure why. I used to think I never used my major, but in truth, I use it all of the time. I’m just not making the big bucks with it!

      1. Journalism was what I should have studied in college – what I wanted to study in the first place – but then life happened and there were too many voices both inside and outside my head telling be I needed something more stable, with a higher income, etc. etc. etc. So I did accounting. But my heart wasn’t in it and I couldn’t do it for more than about 7 years.

  22. I love reading all of your answers! The fact that you graduated with honors does NOT surprise me in the least bit. That would totally be you. I think my writing style is a little chaotic because I write like I talk. Ha! Needless to say, that is why I have to share crafts and recipes πŸ™‚

    1. I’m either an underachiever or a high honors graduate, depending on the year or the subject. I swing! I’m fierce sometimes and lazy other times.
      Luckily this was a high achieving year.

  23. You are a writer, for sure!

    And I so need deadlines. I’m currently writing a novel and I can be so lazy. No deadline? I write one page and call it quits. Not good. I NEED a deadline.

    I also could use some homemade popcorn. Yum.

  24. Look in the dictionary for writer and there you are, my dear. And I did not know that you were a journalism grad! So was I, both undergrad and grad school!

    1. Thank YOU, my dear! I love being a writer.
      And cheers to being a journalism majors! And grad school too! Hey, maybe one day I’ll get there.

    1. Isn’t it? And all of these methods work for people. I never realized how subjective it really is. That’s why I like this tour – so many different ways to be successful at what you do!

  25. TWO WEEKS OUT?? Please teach me your ways!! No matter what, this just doesn’t happen for me! I’m always inspired in the moment. Or sometimes, I’m inspired to write about something, but then I want to write it NOW, even if I post it later. I guess the fact that you can plan everything out and do it so professionally is part of what definitely makes you a writer…and what makes you so good at it!

    1. You know, it doesn’t always work that way! It used to be that I never had ideas. What changed? Oh, I know! Doing more participatory things – like this! I still pick and choose a lot, but it’s less pressure on myself to write those deep things all the time. I used to write without even breaking up paragraphs with photos. I used to write 2,000 word posts with no resolution.
      Sigh. Blogging has changed me for the better.
      And thanks, dear!

  26. YOU’RE A WRITER! I share the sentiment of being called a writer, or describing oneself as a writer because it always feels like it’s a qualification that needs to be reinforced from the outside, even though the power comes from within. I know you would never mention it to me- but having read this post and other posts wherein you mention you struggle with saying the words (and believing them), “I’m a writer,” I decided that I needed to update my badass blogger post and include the fact you’re a talented photographer AND writer. Because you are dammit! I love reading about other writers’ writing processes- I can never get enough of it because I’m so passionate and curious about writing and realize it’s pure magic when it comes together. I love this post!

    1. I went back and read your updated post- meant so much! And I hadn’t noticed it to begin with – I was just so happy to be called a “dreamboat” and a “badass blogger.” it had been awhile!
      It does seem like a lot of us feel this way and it doesn’t seem dependent on job status, education or even raw talent. I think we’re all writers, struggling with the title!
      I love this comment!

  27. It’s so fun to read about other people’s writing processes! I didn’t realize you were a journalism major — photojournalism or print? I am constantly thinking up ideas of things to write about… for me right now it’s all about finding the time to actually get the words out in a form that I’m comfortable signing my name to. I love writing for my blog because it’s so different than the technical type of writing that I do for work.

    1. Print, although the photography thing was obviously there! I did photography before and after college, but not much during it. Which was weird.
      My sister went through the same school as me, but with a different major and experience. Same classes and professors, though! She went into radio.

  28. Tamara you’re an awesome writer and I love reading your stories. I have had some great laughs from reading your blog. I think my favorite post was about some of the jobs you had in the past. Who knew delivering pizza out in the middle of nowhere would be so funny (at least to the people reading about being knocked down by dogs vs. actually being knocked down by the dogs).

    1. Yes! And that was one of the TRUE stories! My friend just reminded me of some other insane job stories I have so I may do a part II soon. I appreciate you reading them and saying such nice things about my writing/stories.

  29. You are a masterful story teller–masterful! I guest posted for a blog a few months ago, and I didn’t send a bio. The blogger posted in my bio: “….a blogger and writer based in……” and I thought “What? I’m not really a writer….wait a second…I guess I am!” When I think of writers, my mind usually goes to journalists and novelists, people like you who have degrees in Journalism and English and Literature. This experience has expanded my view of what being a writer means.

    1. Isn’t that funny? Even if I had a different degree, which very much could have happened, I still see myself being here in this place.
      You’re a writer! And see? All of these comments share similar sentiments with very different backgrounds.

  30. I only write when inspiration hits. Unfortunately, it hits when I’m not even home which means I can’t stop and jot down a note. Right now I’m working on a poem for National Poem Month but it will NOT go up until its my idea of perfect.

  31. We’re writers AND sisterwives which means we’re almost at super-hero status really. Also, I love that you’re a deadline girl, because OMG that is one of my biggest challenges. Each time somebody asks me to guest blog, my first question is “when do you need it?” because if it’s “whenever,” they may never get it. I’m just not inspired that way.

    1. Yes! And it’s happened so many times. And I never did those guest posts. Boo. All of the people who said to me, “Well I’ll be away during this week. Please have it for me a week before that?” I did!
      We’re sister wives.

  32. I too have an ideas in notes, but sometimes I don’t get to them because I have so much I want to write about. πŸ™‚ You’re def a writer! πŸ™‚

  33. I think you are an incredible writer – between your words and your pictures, I always feel the passion that flows from you!!!

  34. You are most definitely a writer. Going through your “How I Met Your Father” series made that very clear to me. Even more, your writing inspires me to want to write more. Though I would need some remediation on flow! Keep up the writing…clearly it’s well loved.

    1. Thank you so much! That series was amazing to write – it was like I relived the whole thing. It was shocking. I guess that’s what it’s like – writing a book or series. It takes from your heart.

  35. my process is different all the time – sometimes I can just write a post in 15 min & other times I have it in my drafts for a week or more.

    You sound super organized! more them me – go girl! πŸ™‚

    1. Well often that’s the way it is for me too. I just have a lot of backup plans and a slight organizational style. It’s new, though! I guess I was always panicking at the last minute and had to try something new.

  36. I write when I’m inspired – otherwise I can’t write. I’m the same as you, I have a s-ton of notes all up in my phone so I’m never out of ideas and am highly observant so that works to my advantage during the week. I like researching so I spend most of my week finding sources which further inspires me to write. Happy Monday love! -Iva

    1. I love your research. I love your brain!
      I find that I never really have nothing to say/post. I just have different levels of what I want to/can share. It’s always so interesting.

      1. Thank you, Thank you. Means a lot to know other people enjoy my silly instigating skills as much as myself. πŸ˜› It’s interesting how you can say 1 thing 1000 ways – it’s like a photograph but using words. There’s always a different angle, a different perspective, a different light. πŸ™‚

  37. I like hearing about other WRITER’s (heehee) writing process. It helps me to feel normal – like the song of my people is playing in the background and turned up all the way up to 11. Most people in my life don’t get anything about writing — and yet, they all have a read a book. Don’t they realize a Writer wrote that book? And that they must have had a process; as weird as that process might seem to you.
    I think I have changed, evolved and grown more flexible over the years. Certainly having kids put writing on the backburner. Or at the very least – it stayed in journals and notebooks. But oh my goodness, the blog fodder they also create! LOL
    I write when I feel inspired or have a great photo or want to participate in fellow bloggers meme because they have inspired something. I do the memes/hops because it keeps the brain working, and I have definitely learned that making daily writing a habit is beneficial to my creative process.
    And some times…. I just leave long blog comments. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, you WRITER, you. It deserves its own all caps.
      Can we also say that we’re PHOTOGRAPHERS? Lord knows that we are MOTHERS.
      Sorry, I’ll stop.
      It’s so awesome to see how the process is for other people. Perhaps you’ll join this tour!
      And leaving long blog comments is almost as good to me as receiving long blog comments.

      1. You can definitely say PHOTOGRAPHER – mine would have to have the “in training” in small print after it. LOL
        But one day I will grow into my big girl camera. πŸ™‚

        1. ha! Very small print.
          Now don’t ask me what makes someone a photographer or not! My snootier photographer friends say that it’s a hobby if you don’t get paid, and a job if you do get paid.
          However, what if you’re AMAZING at it, but just have another job to pay the bills? You’re still a photographer! And if you’re TERRIBLE at it, but somehow people pay you for it. You’re still a photographer?
          I don’t know.

  38. I always think of people who are afraid to say they are “writers”- because I have always been one of them… and I answer that nervous apprehension with the following: If you played the piano, and still love playing it any chance you get- in your home, with friends or perhaps when the mood strikes. You play in church? You play alone. You are Elton John or Billy Joel? You accompany little artists whom you teach.. all of these describe a musician. You are a musician. Same for us writers. Whatever our venue- however we do it and wherever and whomever is reading our words- famous novel writers, to precious mom diaries… we are writers.

    I came for the snacks, and sadly- I leave hungry. But I know someday I will be sharing delicious cookies with you- talking about life, our dreams and our history- all unfolding with smiles and perhaps some tears. But one things for sure- it will all be bound with our passion. I adore everything about your words, your photography, your style and your presence… YOU.

    1. That’s such a good way to compare it – the musicians.
      And reading these comments has been eye-opening. We are all what I consider writing, because…quite frankly…we love to write! And there are certainly different levels of it, based on what we put in, want and more.
      Anyway, I adore everything about you! Even your Tigger mask.

  39. Wow! You’re so organized with your blog posting schedule! I wish I could say the same! I think I am organized with other writing tasks, but blogging is just something I try to do when I can. Usually when I can is so random that I could hardly call what I do for my blog planned. lol. It took me a long time to call myself a writer, too. I think it was fear that made me hesitate about giving myself that title. “A writer” sounds so official. But I am a writer. You are a writer! So in order to do our work, we must first call ourselves by our names! Writers! Congrats on being syndicated. That’s awesome.

    1. We are writers!! And I wasn’t organized until recently. I don’t know what changed – I think it was a series of things. Joining a blogging community, getting more active with it, having my second child get mobile, all sorts of things that made time seem more precious.
      Thanks for visiting!

  40. I’m really impressed with how on top of things you are. I too work best with deadlines, whether self-imposed or from the outside, though those that are not self-imposes tend to push me better. I think my blog writing process is somewhere between zany and stream-lined, sometimes I write whatever is on my mind and other times it is more planned and structured. I FINALLY came up with a blog calendar for April, and it’s definitely helping me to keep on top of things…so far! And I’m *really* hoping to make it to BlogU, keeping my fingers sales for this month continue well!

    1. Well. If I have to buy all your jewelry myself! Then I’d have a lot of good jewelry, AND you’d come to BlogU. So awesome. Wishing you all the best with that, and for my own selfish reasons.
      My blog writing is in the middle too. It used to be all zany. I’ll never be all stream-lined. I like this rhythm a LOT, though. I think it works for my brain and my heart and my actual physical schedule.

  41. I write what I know, what I experience and what is on my heart. I write a lot in my head because I am a thinker. It’s frustrating though because I can’t always get it captured and then it’s gone. Poof. I don’t carry notebooks or have evernote with me to capture snippets here or there. I try to write ahead of time but that sometimes feels contrived. I definitely need a better balance. I would like to study writing more from a style and form perspective. Did you know you can hire a writing coach? I swear there is a coach for everything!

    1. I actually did know that! I was thinking of becoming one at one point, but I think it would drive me insane. I am not a good teacher/tutor. I get too impatient and I watch clocks. Oh well.
      I like hearing about your process. I get very frustrated about losing thoughts and not writing them down.

  42. I found you through Rebecca over at Diz Mommy and I’m so glad I popped by. I love to write but I struggle with calling myself a writer too. Even though I blog 3-4 times a week and have been doing so for 3 1/2 years, I struggle with giving myself this title. It feels like it’s something that should be bestowed on you.

    I write what’s on my heart. It too helps me work through issues or anxiety. I sometimes know what I’m going to write about but often I’m surprised.

    This post also reminded me of my recent dilemma when purchasing business cards for my blog. I was trying to decide whether or not to put “professional blogger” as my title. I actually Googled it and researched and then granted myself that title after reading through my research. What a nerd I am.

    So pleased to meet you. Thanks for sharing.

    1. So glad I you found me, and now I found you!
      I feel like a hack with a lot of things in life. Like other people are “real” parents, photographers and writers, and I’m not.
      At other times, I realize that’s ridiculous. Especially with the parenting one! I’m not a fake parent!
      I need to get business cards for an upcoming blog conference and I have no idea what to write! I’m a photographer too, so my fan page for my blog is just my fan page for my business. A package deal. I’ll have to think on this.
      Thank you!

  43. That’s weird. I thought everyone did like I do – just sit with your eyes closed tight and your fingers on the home row waiting for the Holy Spirit (or devil) to move you. I have a million posts written in my head, but I want a reason to write them, and I find those more often lately when I read other blogs.

    As I used to say when I was young, “I’m not a journalist, ma’am. I’m a sports writer.”

    1. Maybe I need to try that? Not with the devil, although it would be very interesting to see what he/she would move me to write!

  44. I love hearing about other people’s writing process largely because I don’t feel like I have one! I too write when I feel like writing and then it just pours out. I hate when I have to struggle with it (usually means I’m writing something that I’m not so excited about). I need deadlines too and man, I wish that I could write ahead of time! I’m a night-before-posting kind of gal πŸ™‚

    1. I think not having one is still a process! It’s all about whatever kind of timing/magic/chemistry/sponsorship or whatever – that makes us actually go from zero to 100.
      It’s fascinating!

  45. I prefer to write when no one is around too. And I like quiet because I get distracted if the TV is on or there is music playing – because I will watch or sing along. Although I can find inspiration in those, when it comes to sharing the words, I find quiet works best.
    I do the same thing with my schedule. I have a rough idea what I will post with my drafts, but if something else comes up, I will rearrange things to make it fit. πŸ™‚

    1. There are many things I can’t do with music/TV/kids around, and also things I cannot do. My husband thinks I’m great at tuning things out. Sometimes I’m too good!

  46. I love your writing “style”. I feels like we are just hanging out and you are telling me a story! I’m so glad you have taken on writing and are posting for the rest of us to read about your life and admire you for all you do!! Oh and I’m so glad you wrote the post about Athena because she is so freaking cute!!!

  47. Love hearing about your writing process. You are so fortunate to be a good writer and a good photographer! I love reading your blog.Congrats on the writing tour! I always have to have a TV on when I write, even though I usually tune it out. I should try music sometime and see what happens LOL!

    1. I like background noise a lot! I can work through mostly anything, except the kids whining. That’s my Achilles heel of writing.

  48. You’re supposed to write what you know, and you know what you DO – so why not write about it, am I right? LOL! Was that a weirdly confusing yet profound comment or is it just me? LOL!

    And I did journalism in school too! Broadcast journalism – 4.0 – BOOM! We are twinsies! πŸ˜‰

    1. You’re right! You’re profound! Not at all surprising that you’re my journalism major twin. Clearly, you have rocked your major.

    1. I love everything about your voice, always. It’s just perfect.
      And your stories come out and they’re amazing! I don’t have that gift. I’m not great at fiction.

  49. I find these questions and answers fascinating. I use to just write…climb into bed with my laptop and pound away at the keyboard spewing out my thoughts. It was quite some time before I even grasped the concept of “scheduled posts.” Now I just can’t seem to write. Life–and death-have gotten the best of me lately and I just don’t know how to do this anymore. I attempt some link-ups hoping that it will get my thoughts racing again. I am definitely stuck.

    1. You do seem to write well, for someone not able to get out racing thoughts right now.
      And you’ll unstuck yourself beautifully. I know it!

  50. It fascinates me to see how writers go through their process. I have topics and themes in my head, sometimes a phrase or sentence is already there in my head. Then, when I find the time to write, I do it and publish that day. I’m not tied to a schedule or deadlines. I have enough of that at work!

    1. Oh yes! I work best this way. With my own deadlines or with firm but gentle ones from others.
      I do data entry sometimes at home and it pays well and I totally make my own schedule. I can play all day and do it at night, or vice versa.
      It’s actually the perfect job. I wish I could do it more!

  51. You are definitely a writer! You give me those feelings I get when I read a novel, you definitely know how to capture a moment with your words and express them so well that the person reading can feel them too.

    I’ve always been a diary/journal type person. I have to get my thoughts out through writing so I can even make sense of all of them. I have an unpublished blog that I use just for journaling! I’m still majorly learning through blog writing, I feel like I’m getting more and more into my “real voice”, rather than sounding so fake like I did at first.

    1. I hear that!
      Blogging is how I found my voice. I never really knew what I was saying or who I was talking to, before. I tried journals but it didn’t work. I did best through emails, actually, but not everyone wants to talk to me that way. Even my husband stopped after we got together. The punk. I could write him something beautiful and he’d write back, “Cool.”
      So blogging has been a saving grace!

  52. Lovoooooooe your photos w/ your answers! FAaaaB.

    Nobody gave me permission to call myself a “Writer.”

    That’s like giving me permission to “Breathe, man!”

    Enjoyed this post <3

  53. My jaw hit the tabletop when I read you are 1-2 weeks ahead. I have to hibernate for 2 days and just write all of the stuff that is in my head. I am a night before person – it kinda works but not if I’m going to post regularly and I’d like to do that. Reading about your process is so interesting – and encouraging, validating, and, I guess, real. It shows me what I can do better and lets me know that what I’m doing is also okay.

    1. You know what’s funny is that it’s not consistent at all. I ALWAYS do Ask Away Fridays the night before. Like up until the last hour.
      Same with Monday posts. I just have so many ideas swirling that are planned out for 1-2 weeks. Not written! Just jotted down. And it’s so subject to change, it’s not even funny.
      However, it works with my brain.

  54. I only write what I feel and experience. If that means I have to miss out on posting, then so be it. I don’t like cranking things out if I can’t be proud of it. I have tons of papers scattered every where with ideas that never come to fruition. I can’t even imagine what I have lying around in my drafts folder!!!

  55. I’m impressed with your ability to keep to a schedule. Mine tends to go by the wayside with all the other more pressing things that gnaw at the edges of my brain You are very inspiring to me, and remind me to keep trying to set my own goals! xo

  56. I’m so glad I came back and read this. I keep trying to do the proper blogging thing and follow an editorial calendar but I’m horrible about it. My best posts and most commented on posts are those that come from the heart. So that’s why I’m posting less but happier with what I write. Thank you for sharing.

  57. This writing process tour is fascinating. I’ve enjoying learning about writers and how they write. I love how you are stocked with ideas at least 2 weeks ahead. It really alleviates the pressure of writing the night before. There are times when I sit at my computer and rack my head for some post ideas, but reading about your process inspires me to really consider an editorial calendar. Thanks so much, Tamara.

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