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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Savor the Moment

22 02 2014

Savor is the best word to describe yesterday’s lunch. I would not have guessed that my writing would have led me to a little French bistro in New Orleans to meet with friends I did not know when I started this blog.

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I stumbled onto a bloghop on Huffington Post last fall. It was from a group of midlife women bloggers, I was intrigued and looked up this group and soon became a part of it. Chloe was a founder of this group and I became a fan of her blog. I was always amazed by how open and honest she was in her writing. I work at a woman’s specialty hospital and she is an OB/GYN nurse, so I also felt a connection because of our day jobs. This midlife group grew and became an online zine and Chloe and I continued to get to know each other when she interviewed me in a video.

I love the magic of when you meet someone and instantly connect. She and the other women I met in this online group were the main reason I attended BlogHer in Chicago last summer. That’s where I met Cheryl, much to my delight, a blogger from my part of the world. Cheryl and I connected again in New Orleans and after a bloody mary (or two) we knew we had found a new friend in each other.

87776577-2When Chloe and her husband planned a New Orleans vacation, we conspired to steal a few hours for a girlfriend-only visit. I drove the 90 miles to Cheryl’s classic, stately historic home and Chloe arrived by streetcar a short walk from Cheryl’s pleasant house.  We chose the French bistro, Café Degas for lunch in a lovely non-touristy part of town. We drove through streets that were preparing for the onslaught of Mardi Gras parades, but were still quiet. Cheryl and I both shared our love of this city as we drove through it on this almost-spring day. There had been a loud thunderstorm the night before and the raindrops that still clung to the trees made the tender spring green leaves brighter and the Japanese Magnolias’ blooms were a little bigger. 465585553-1

The next few hours was spent in smart and insightful conversation. We were equally as interested in what each other had to say as we were in sharing our own thoughts. The conversation ranged in topics as we are all women who have lived full, well-traveled lives. If we did not solve all the world’s problems, our talking about them left us hopeful of the world our children and their future children will live in. The big takeaway we ended with was, how lucky we felt to be women living in this country at this moment in time.

What a remarkable time we live in, right now and right here. Cheryl, Chloe and I would never have met without social media and blogging. Things that simply did not exist a few years ago. The three of us do not earn a living as writers and yet our writing is now published. People from around the world that we will never know, read our words and connect to us. Individual voices are being heard in a way that has never before been experienced. That’s real power.

It was a lunch full of delicious wit, intellect and friendship. It was a great connection for a few short hours before we left to continue our separate journeys. I’ll continue to savor that lunch for a long time.

Chloe, Cheryl and me

Chloe, Cheryl and me

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Salut! It’s My One-Year Blogging Anniversary.

6 07 2013

Salut

This month marks one year of blogging! WOO HOO! It has been an amazing year and this little blog ‘o mine has taken me to unexpected places. I started it because I needed to have my creative voice out there. A few months into blogging, I stumbled upon this fabulous group of women at Generation Fabulous. They were remarkably supportive of one another and read my blog and even commented on it. Then GenFab bloghops were in the freakin’ Huffington Post and there I was!  This led to writing for another group, Better After 50 and more amazing writers. GenFab has grown in just the few months since I joined and  now has a website featuring the powerful voices of midlife. I was a featured blogger and had a video interview with Chloe Jeffreys for her feature Coffee with Chloe. I still am surprised when I look back on this past year and see where My Creative Journey has taken me.

Another surprise is that I didn’t expect that each post I’ve written would become a blog child. I must admit while I love all my blog children I do have favorites. So in honor of my one-year anniversary I’m going to tell the world my favorites and why.

These are what I consider my 3 best posts:

the jump

Taking the Leap
This is about my attempt to become fearless.

Me and my sweetie, Steve

Soul Mates and Angels
Even though I wrote this, I can still tear up when I read it. It’s me and Steve’s love story.

Full view w detail

If You Give Connie a Glass of Wine
This chronicles the birth of my business, Greenview Designs in that meandering way that is my creatve processs. It’s written in the style of, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a book I loved reading to my daughter when she was little.

These are about where I live:

katrina-08-28-2005

Bread, Batteries and Booze
Big shoutout to my buddy Juan Simoneux who posted it on at The Cajun American.  It’s because of his fans that this remains my most viewed post ever. It’s about living in hurricane country.

Flyin Alligator waterfront lounge

Luzianna Friday Nite
I love where I live. OK, I don’t love hurricanes (see above).

These are about my family:

  My mom dresses just like the Cosmo Girl.

Wild Woman
This is about my Mother. You’ll need to read the post to understand why that’s all I can say about this one. 

My Mom and me, 1961

The Sandwich Generation  
What make The Wild Woman story so special to me is where my Mom came from. This post tells that story.

letter

Large and Purple
My Dad, Lloyd McLeod, was a local character and a really great father.

My first apartment

Argo, the Ayatollah, Eudora Welty and First Apartments
Connections I share with my daughter.

These were unexpectedly popular:

mcleodyardwork

Timeless Tips From a Fashionista
This was inspired by the GenFab bloghop on epic fashion fails and it also made the Huffington Post. It proves I don’t care about embarrassing myself if it makes a good story.

Teresa from the Housewives of New Jersey flipping a table screaming Prostitution Whore!

My Guilty Pleasure
I was a little surprised how many other people admitted to the same guilty pleasure. Ssssshhh, it’s our little secret.

Sometime in the last year I heard about this amazing blogging conference called BlogHer. So I will be flying off to Chicago soon and rooming with a new friend from GenFab. I could never have imagined this a year ago. I’m sure a blog child will be birthed from this adventure. Time will tell if it’ll become a favorite.

Thanks to all who have read and supported me in the past year.

If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!





The View from Greenview

9 06 2013

“I’m Greenviewing it,” I responded when asked what my lunch plans were. That’s because this week I hit another mile marker in My Creative Journey. Greenview Designs has been a concept, then a logo and then a business card for much of this year. But it’s suddenly become very real this week with the launch of a very real website.

GreenviewLike everything in my life, this has evolved into being. Last summer I started this blog as a way to have a creative voice while working in corporate world. I wasn’t too concerned about whether anyone would read it. What I discovered was once the words I wrote become solid and published, the ideas I was writing about started to happen. I’m now comfortable presenting my point of view in front of others and I’m comfortable saying I’m a writer because of this blog I’ve been writing for almost a year.  That creative voice of mine is being heard because I’m saying it out loud. Maybe it’s just to coin a current phrase; I’m finally leaning in.

My sweetie, who’s my partner and I had a vague idea for business since he kinda-sorta-but-not-really retired. With his strong cinematography/video/producing background and my art direction/graphic design experience, we knew we had complimentary skills. We’re also interested in growing our lives in new directions.  He has a real passion for building furniture and I’m loving the workshops I’m giving on creativity. We also wanted a business that could grow and evolve as we do.

So we’ve taken all these seeds and planted them. And they have sprouted! Why Greenview? It’s the literal avenue where our creative journey starts every day. It’s our creative oasis. Greenview Designs now seems the natural choice because this is where we grow ideas.

Putting the website together, however, meant we had to be concrete and not just a vague concept. We’ve pulled from our creative pasts and present and will be constantly adding things as we create them. Not only did we launch the website, but we’re on FacebookTwitter @GreenviewDzine, PinterestYouTube, and Vimeo.

Like all journeys there’s been bumps in the road. Like just discovering the site been hijacked by a hacker and would link to a random website in China. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by web guys who know how to fix those things (big shout-out to my friends at Gatorworks).

Greenview Designs is growing strong and fast. My lunches, evenings and weekends are now spent Greenviewing it. My partner, Steve Davison, is putting his full-time energy into this creation of ours. Our business like our lives is a work in progress. Check us out, if you go to the website all our social media links are there. I’d love any likes, follows or comments. I’m savoring this moment and will keep you posted on the growth spurts and the bumps on the road in this creative journey.