My Writing Process, a blog tour

27 04 2014

I was invited to join this blog tour on #mywritingprocess by Lisa Froman. Lisa is an inspired writer. Even though we live in the same town, we only recently became friends through blogging. I now often start my day with a meditation from her book, Tao Flashes. I find myself in the company of very talented and seasoned writers in this blog tour. When Lisa asked if I wanted to join the tour, I said, “Sure, I’ll do it!” Even though I consider myself a novice writer, I am confident talking about my creative process. I also try to say yes to things that push me out of my comfort zone.

Yet as I’m starting to write, I’m questioning and asking myself, why am I doing this? This tour is full of real writers. But because I know my process, I know to ignore that annoying voice of self-doubt that plague most creative folk including myself.

creativeporcess

I’ve been an advertising/marketing art director for my entire professional career. I started giving workshops on creativity and leading Artist’s Way groups a few years back. I have found it important to understand your creative process, no matter your medium. Once you know your own unique process, you know how to get through the bumps and how to nurture your muse.

1. Why do I write what I do?

I write because I need my voice to be heard.

I work in corporate world. My creative voice is often drowned out by those higher up the corporate food chain. My writing is something that is all mine. I can tell whatever story I want to tell; I can craft it how I want; I do not have to get anyone’s approval before I hit publish. Blogging is not part of my day job, so writing is a new and fresh creative outlet for me. It is liberating and I’ve grown in wonderful and unexpected ways because of my blog.

2. How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?

This question made me slip into the procrastination part of my process. I’m now caught up with all my social media friends and have watched a TED talk and a few cat videos. This question stumps me because I’ve just started to call myself a writer. OK, here goes…

My genre is midlife blogging. My writing differs because I’m writing about my life journey from my point of view. I’m a designer/writer/marketer/speaker/extrovert who needs quiet time/traveler/foodie/only child of an only child/lover/southerner (bless my heart)/friend/empty nester and on and on, all of which uniquely informs my writing. I have a quirky sense of humor, so I often write of the goofy things I do. I’ve found love in my 50’s after divorce and I write about that.  I live in a part of the world that is like no other and I write about that.  I like to bake and have my grandmother’s handwritten recipes and I share those.  I write about my creative journey. And I don’t want to be pegged as a certain kind of writer because I don’t know where my journey will take me, so I have difficulty describing my genre.

3. How does your writing process work?

There’s a book I use as a resource in studying the creative process. It’s The Creative Process Illustrated. There are similarities and differences in everyone’s process. I’ve learned my writing process is different than my design process and is different from my speaker process. Here’s my writing process:

• Wake up early
• In my PJs, with a cup of coffee, handwrite in a notebook, curled up in my chair
• Stare off into space, write, meditate, write, meditate, get another cup of coffee, write, meditate
• Walk away from draft, take a shower
• Rewrite draft on computer
• Print it out, go back to chair, edit all over the page
• Repeat
• Write, edit
• Write, edit
• Write, edit
• Go for a walk
• Write, edit,
• Proof, proof again
• Publish
• Keep finding typos

4. What am I working on now?

I’ve got several projects in the works outside of my day job. A big one that is taking up a ridiculous amount of time is trying to kill the bamboo in my backyard. My sweetie and I started a business last summer making marketing videos. I’m focusing on making our dream grow by wearing my marketing hat. We’re shooting a pop up dinner party next week that may grow into a tv pilot pitch and should be a lot of fun.

I’m also putting together a creative retreat for this summer. It’ll start with an exploration of the creative process. Then we’ll break into small groups and the participants will write or draw. The goal is to better understand your process so when asked these kinds of questions you know how to answer them.

Where I write.

Where I write.

Next in the process

The great part of this blog tour is reading what other writers have to say. I now pass the torch to a writer I met last year at BlogHer.  She is a women I instantly felt a connection with and she is a gifted writer.

Helene Cohen Bludman has been writing all her life, but mostly for other people. In 2013 she left her job in university marketing to become a full-time writer and work on her unfinished novel. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, BlogHer, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, and more. Helene writes a wonderful blog called Books is Wonderful. Check out her writing process.

Here’s the link to other writer’s in this blog tour.
Read what they had to say about their process.

Marci Rich

Jane Gassner

Janie Emaus

Walker Thornton

Lisa Froman

Mindy Klapper Trotta

Cathy Chester

Linda Maltz Wolff

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Maw Maw’s Chess Pie

19 04 2014

chess pieEaster in Louisiana is yet another season when family and friends surround themselves with delicious food. My Uncle Dudley, my mom’s only sibling, has been having a family reunion at his home out in the countryside for several years. Cousins have connected for the first time and others have rediscovered each other at this annual event. The majority of family attending are connected through my Grandmother. Most of them have never tasted her baking. So this year I’m bringing her chess pie. I imagine she baked this extra sweet egg-custard pie for her family for Easter.

My Paw Paw, Maw Maw and Uncle Dudley

My Paw Paw, Maw Maw and Uncle Dudley

pie recipe

Her hand-written recipe just lists the ingredients on a small stained scrap of paper, now yellowed and brittle with age. I looked up the cooking details from several cookbooks.

Maw Maw’s Chess Pie

1-cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon butter (unsalted)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons flour
2 teaspoons corn meal
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
9” pie shell

Crust: (I buy ready made though I’m sure my Maw Maw made her own.) Preheat oven to 300°. Prick bottom of shell several times with fork. Add mixture of sugar and flour and rub into the holes. Bake shell for 10 minutes. This keeps shell from becoming soggy.

Filling: Mix flour and corn meal. Add softened butter, beaten eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar. Mix well. Slowly pour in milk. Mix until blended. Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set.

Goes well with vanilla ice cream (but what pie doesn’t)

Other recipes you may like:

Maw Maw’s Hot Milk Cake
Maw Maw’s Cocoon Cookies
Maw Maw’s Fresh Apple Cake

I honor my maternal lineage: I am Connie Lee, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrine, daughter of Minnie Mae; mother of Jade Lee-Mei.