Ever wondered about the writing process? How does it work? I get asked about my writing process quite often and love having conversations about expressing one's thoughts. Writing is a solitary practice so it is more fun to have people around to inspire you along the way. So when one of my blog friends and fellow authors, Heather Grace Stewart, invited me to take part in this blog hop, I wholeheartedly agreed. How the blog works is that you mention the author who invited you (i.e., Heather) and then share your answers to the Blog Hop questions. Thanks for the invitation Heather! Prepare to be inspired and feel free to share your thoughts on the writing process!
Heather Grace Stewart's first novel comes out this June, but she is best known for her poetry, which includes: “Three Spaces”, “Carry on Dancing”, “Leap”, and “Where the Butterflies Go.” In 2012, she published the screenplay, “The Friends I’ve Never Met”, which has been well received on both Kindle and Kobo. Her two non-fiction books for youth are part of the Warts & All educational series on Canada’s Prime Ministers.
She has written for a wide range of magazines, including Reader’s Digest and Canadian Wildlife magazine. Her column in the Queen’s Alumni Review magazine, Grace’s Grads, was created in September 2005.
Heather’s poems have been published in Canadian literary journals, newspapers, and magazines, Canadian and British school textbooks, audio CDS, online journals, international print anthologies, and in the British small presses. She was awarded Queen’s University’s McIlquham Foundation Prize in English Poetry and the UK journal Various Artists’ “The Poet’s Poet” Award (2008 & 2012).
Heather can be found on Facebook, Twitter, her blog , and her website . Her women's fiction/general fiction novel “Strangely, Incredibly Good” will be released by Morning Rain Publishing on June 5, 2014. I have interviewed her as part of the "Speaking From the Heart" and "Profile of Perseverance" interview series. Read Heather's blog hop answers here!
Now it's my turn. Scroll down for my answers about the writing process.
Q: What are you working on?
In my first book “Stand Tall & Speak From the Heart: How to Find Your Way” which was published last year, I wrote about my journey with body-image and how I developed the courage to share my story with the world. The book was a chronicle of my healing journey in a travel-journal format of the life lessons I had learned along the way. I found out so much from writing it, reflecting on the process, and talking to readers that I am in the early stages of writing a second book. The second one will be less about me – more about the readers and their healing process. It will be a guidebook to help them value themselves and go after their dreams.
Q: How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My work differs from others of its genre because it is written by me. Everyone has their own unique experiences and their own take on things. I'm sharing my random thoughts as conversation starters and reflection points to get people thinking deep.
Q: Why do you write what you do?
There are many reasons why I write, but one of the main ones is to build relationships with my readers. I want them to feel that they are not alone on their journey. I remember when I wrote the blog post, Don’t Let Your Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Dream, and one of my loyal readers, Felicity Lumb, commented on it. She said she could really relate to the following quote I posted: “I realized that everyone is at different stages in their life journey. Each has his/her own definition of success and what that looks like in their life.” She then proceeded to share how she was feeling like a failure.
I had to respond as I could relate to what she was going through and her feelings of inadequacy. Her response to my email left me speechless. It was so beautiful that I had to ask if I could post the comment on here.
Her response to me:
“Just when you think no one notices, or understands, someone comes along with a similar issue, a similar outlook and you realize that we are ALL each other’s reflection. Thank you for sharing yourself and your life. You are an inspiration to me and I love your blog!”
Up to this point, I had not thought of writing a book; Felicity's response to my blog post really inspired me. The reason I write my blog regularly is because I love connecting with people and letting them know they aren’t alone. There are others who are experiencing similiar struggles. We all have our own definitions of success and are all on our own paths in life. But, we can still be there for each other on the journey. Even as a counsellor, I really place emphasis on helping people find supportive communities that promote their positive growth and development. We can get a lot of comfort from hearing each other's experiences through talking or writing.
Q: How does your writing process work?
For me, writing is about bits and pieces of the story coming together over time. Expressing yourself is a process.
To start, I collect notes either in my journal or on my phone whenever a random thought comes to me and inspiration strikes. It usually isn’t the specific details of the event; it's more about the lesson learned. I do this daily. Then, I turn these notes into blog posts or elaborate more on the topic through conversations and research.
I like starting and ending my day by having fifteen minutes to just express the thoughts that are in my head. Having that alone time with a coffee to just write freely has really been beneficial to my life.
Blank pages used to scare me because I wanted what I wrote to be perfect so I wouldn’t write anything. Then I realized that you can’t edit nothing. So I just work at getting words on the page even if it is just in point form to start – then I can add or elaborate after.
For me because writing is important, I make time for it even when I am busy – I also seek out like-minded souls who will help me on this journey! The writing process is more fun that way!
Now it's your turn. Instead of asking three authors, I'm extending the invite to all of my readers to take part. I want to hear about your writing process. How does it work? What do you struggle with? What advice do you have for fellow writers? What do you want to know about my writing process?
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!