My writing process: A blog tour
Randle of CrandleCakes, a blog in which she talks about food and life, invited me to participate in the My Writing Process blog tour. I met Randle at a gathering of fellow writers and enjoyed hearing her personal essays and short stories. I still find it fascinating how she intermingles narrative and recipes in her blog posts.
So with that introduction complete, I begin this discussion of my writing process:
1) What am I working on?
I write once a week on Ask an Aspergirl, a personal blog where I discuss my life as an autistic woman with generalized anxiety. Sometimes I write about my fondness for particular films or television shows — how these forms of pop culture have served as emotional mirrors. I’m still working on a series of posts about seeking an autism spectrum diagnosis as an adult. Since I started the blog, I’ve been trying to figure out why seemingly easy things are hard for me and seemingly hard things are easy for me.
2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My blog explores how various aspects of my life interact. As I often say when asked to describe the various parts of my life, “It’s in the overlap.” I write about how my lived experiences influence my graduate research. Sometimes I post poems that capture my experiences in a given week. My writing is at the intersection of “I’m pretty sure I’m autistic; oh yeah, I’m a worrywart too; and growing up, things at home were hard.” I write about these pieces of my life all at once.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write to connect with other women like me — maybe I’m hoping that if I share my story, it will feel real. I think about what I’m feeling and why I could be feeling that way, and then I write about this experience. Sometimes my life feels ridiculously meta, as I try to make sense of my social world and emotional life by looking for patterns in what happened. Writing keeps me from becoming isolated because it gets me out of my own head. Somehow reading my thoughts aloud is validating. I write hoping I’m not the only one describing this experience.
4) How does my writing process work?
I usually choose a particular theme or concept that’s been reverberating in my head all week. If a phrase or sentence comes to mind, I’ll text those words to myself. Sometimes I jot down little notes on the pieces of scrap paper I find at work and then doodle in the margins. I draw from conversations I’ve had, books I’ve read, or television episodes I’ve seen lately. I joke that I should come with footnotes since most of my posts are a combination of my experiences and the media I consume.
After gathering all of these ideas in my head, I sit down at my desk and start writing short notes about what to include. Then I write my narrative: What happened and how did I feel about it? A friend of mine says to “write at the wound” because this is where we find powerful pieces — in the scary, painful places. Sometimes I’m brave enough to go there. Other times, I let myself get gradually closer to these vulnerabilities.
Next week’s bloggers
I’d like to introduce you to several bloggers I’ve enjoyed reading, so you can learn about their writing process:
Alana of Sleep Wake Hope and Then
Alana writes about “adventures with her autistic mind.” She is a graduate student getting her Ph.D. in a biology-related field. She writes short essays and poetry about her experiences. She says, “This blog is the story of my adventures with science and learning about autism and figuring out how that makes me me.”
Georgia of Feminist Aspie
Georgia writes about the intersection between feminism and autism, as she states, her blog “does what it says on the tin.” She also references Doctor Who in her posts and offers people virtual cups of tea. She wrote a wonderful ode to fangirls last November.
I look forward to hearing more about both women’s writing process.