I was so excited when my friend Alison Marra of True North invited me to participate in the #mywritingprocess blog tour. Alison and I met through the incredible Hannah Marcotti and are deep in exploration together in the Magic Making Circle. Alison’s writing is soul stirring and inspiring, and you can learn more about her process here.
I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember (I still have stories that I wrote when I was 5), but the world of writing for others has been an interesting shift, and I’m excited to explore these questions and share my answers with you.
So here we go!
What are you working on?
This question makes me laugh because I could answer in so many ways. Concretely, these days most of my writing revolves around this space, my newsletter, and content for upcoming programs. I’ve also been doing a great deal of personal writing again recently, through morning pages and beyond, which always feels good to come home to.
The dreamy answer includes ideas for books that have been floating around in my mind for many years that have yet to come to fruition. I’d love to revisit the poetry I wrote in massive quantities when I was a teenage and either annotate it or take the best of it and polish it. That involves returning to that time in my life though, and I’m more of a forward thinker these days.
The history major in me has had plans for more than 5 years to write a book about one of my favorite places in the world, but other passions have pushed that project to the side too.
So there’s always something going on, both on paper and in my mind.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There’s so much fear and overwhelm out there, and I try not to be part of that. I strive to come from a place of love and ease because I feel like that’s where you can really discover what works best for you. I don’t want to scare you into change – I want you to want it so much that you see no choice but empowered action.
So much in the health, wellness, self-care and baby-making world is direction based (do this, don’t do that etc) and I really don’t see my message fitting into that. I see myself as a guide for women, helping them to explore and uncover what they need most. Sure, I could fill my newsletter and blog with the top 5 foods to eat for fertility and the top 10 things to avoid when preparing to conceive, but that’s just not my style. You’ll get that information, but in a more heart-centered way. You might notice that my opt-in gift is currently 30 Tips to Boost Your Fertility, so that might seem contradictory, but that’s just the title. It’s really a beautiful little e-book filled with ideas to inspire you. So many of us like lists, but we like to find ourselves in those lists, not feel directed to what we’re “supposed” to. My hope is that my writing encourages you to discover the choices that feel like deep yeses in your soul.
I’d say just about everything that comes through my writing has come directly from my own experiences (how could it not), so it’s constantly evolving because so I am, and so is Womb to World Wellness. Just as I seek to support the women in my community with this, I am also constantly journeying towards a more empowered and authentic version of myself, and that journey shows up here.
Why do I write what I do?
This question had me at a full stop for about 24 hours. I’ve been thinking about it during that time and I don’t know that I’m any closer to being able to put it into words – funny for a writer, isn’t it? I write what I write simply because I do. There is no other choice. There is no other way. Like I mentioned in the projects that live only in my mind – I can’t write those right now because this is the writing that is bursting out of me in the present moment.
Writing to me has always been a way for me to communicate what usually lives hidden deep within us. Whether I was sharing it with anyone or not, writing has been an outlet, a friend, that I can always count on, and I see this space a bit like that sometimes.
I aim to write to the Womb to World Wellness community as if I am writing to a friend, because I believe I am. I am writing to each and every woman who holds the dream of a baby in her heart, and I am here to create sacred space for her desires to bloom and grow. So why do I write what I do? I guess it’s to open up that conversation, and to let women know that it’s a safe and important conversation to have.
How does my writing process work?
For a long time, my newsletters, which go out early Tuesday mornings, were being written late Monday night. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to write them sooner, I did. Sometimes they would be completely written and formatted days before and then bam at 10pm (almost always on the dot), I would get the idea and I’d find myself starting from scratch and staying up much later than I wanted to.
I’ve tried to train my brain to get that hit of inspiration earlier, but here’s the thing – you can’t control the inspiration. When I try to write, whether it’s a newsletter, a blog, or even just an email, it takes so long. It feels like struggle. When I release the expectation of when, I always manage to find the flow, usually just in time.
I was like this in college too. I remember in my senior year I was taking two classes with the same teacher and a few us of convinced her to let us write one longer paper combining the themes of the two classes instead of one. Capital by Marx and Colonialism. Through many discussions, with just a few days left until the papers were due, it became clear that I had one amazing paper, if I cut out the colonialism piece that I was trying to fit it. So now I needed to come up with another paper topic and get it all researched and written. She offered me an extension. I got both papers in on time, and I aced them. I guess that’s just how I roll.
It also depends on what I’m writing. A change of scenery always does me good, and this piece is a perfect example. I was getting there, but wasn’t quite in the flow until I left my house and came to a coffee shop. Sat down with my tea and the flow found me.
I think finding flow is the most important element to my writing process, and what brings me to that flow often changes, but here are some ideas that I can usually count on to get me back into the flow. May they serve as inspiration for the writer in you.
- A hot shower
- A change of scenery
- Free writing (often starts with, “I have no idea what to write but I have things to write so here I am….”)
- Visioning (I often start cutting things out of magazines and pause the visioning process because an idea strikes)
- Writing from the heart (works every time)
I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this journey with me through a bit of my process and I hope that you’ll continue to return and see where the flow takes me in the future. I’d love to hear what you enjoyed most while reading this, so be sure to leave a comment below!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I am excited now to share 2 more amazing friends and writers with you so that you can learn more about their work and writing processes.
Melissa Mulligan is a vocal coach who believes in passionately creating the lives we are meant to live. She is a permission-granter of unbridled dreams and a believer in the healing power of self-expression. Melissa is the owner, lead vocal coach and head of Artist Development at MMVS: Melissa Mulligan Vocal Studio, LLC in Connecticut, NYC, California, Boston, and online. mymmvs.com Facebook : MMVS Vocal Coaching Twitter: @melmulligan Instagram: @melmulligan YouTube: MelMMVS
You can check out Melissa’s blog here, where she’ll be sharing her own process next week.
Dawn Renee Webster is a natural born decorator & organizer. She strives to ‘reclaim your space’ by providing you with some soul food to nosh on. Are there certain styles of design that you are drawn to, gorgeous meals that you want to re-create or do you yearn for tips on organizing your home life? Trust her. She is a mother of 3 and enjoys the delightful challenge of making each day more beautiful for the environment that surrounds her family. Dawn notices the details and believes in the simple things. Her talent is in repurposing what you already have within the bones of your abode and listening to the whispers of your heart. You can do this. Visit…her door is always open. You can learn more about Dawn and her writing process at www.SassafrasElements.com. Got questions for her? She loves receiving your emails at SassafrasElements@gmail.com.