I was recently asked to take part in a ‘blog hop’ by my lovely friend, author, website designer, fellow Mumpreneur and blogger Meg Fenn. To be honest, at first I thought it smacked of those chain letter things you used to get at school when you were a kid, but as Meg wasn’t promising me doom should I not take part(!) and as the questions were juicy and all about the writing process, I decided to go for it.
Before I dive in, here’s Meg’s post from last week where she answers the same questions. I highly recommend you read Meg’s blog actually. She’s an expat American living in the UK and I love to see our country through her eyes in her witty and wise posts.
Anyway, on with the ‘hop’:
What are you working on?
Well, on this week’s ‘to-do’ list, the ‘regulars’ are my weekly blog post for my site, my ‘Woman in Business’ newspaper column, my ‘Onwards and Upwards’ email (normally an introduction and link to my blog post plus quotations, clips, offers or cartoons) and a weekly blog post that I write for another coaching company. On top of that, I’m working on writing a module about confidence for an e-course that the Talented Ladies Club website are bringing out, and outlining an article proposal for Glamour magazine. Better crack on with it, hadn’t I?!
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I suppose my work differs from others mainly because it’s my voice. That’s obvious, of course, but I do get a lot of positive feedback from readers who remark that I write exactly as I speak. Maybe that’s why I don’t like doing copywriting work – I feel that my writing reflects me, my thoughts and my passions and I don’t really enjoy writing to someone else’s brief. That’s why I started to help other business owners write for their websites and blogs: I believe that if you’re passionate about what you do and can talk about it for hours, then there’s no reason to pay someone else to write a diluted version. So I empower small business owners become their own copywriters. You’d think, then, that I would write more about writing, wouldn’t you? Well I do a bit, but my first love is writing about life ‘stuff’. I reckon there are enough people out there telling you how to do it, so I like to inspire people to feel good about themselves and to have the confidence to give it a go in the first place.
Why do you write what you write?
I enjoy writing about things that happen, things I ponder about, things that I notice and that inspire me, short ‘Straightforward Guides To…’ and also things that go on in my local business community. Often, I’ll have the idea to write an article or a blog post about a theme that regularly comes up in coaching sessions, or maybe a conversation over a cuppa with a friend will bring up a post-worthy subject or two. I’ll sometimes write about my own self-development journey, too. I’m lucky that I have an incredibly wide brief with my blog posts and with my column, and if I think of something that doesn’t fit either of those, I’ll propose it as a magazine article instead. Ultimately, all of my writing is upbeat and hopefully makes the readers feel good about themselves and the world around them.
How does your writing process work?
I jot down any ideas I have for articles, blog posts or columns in my beloved yellow notebook, Sometimes, ideas just pour out, and then there are days when I can’t think of a single idea. That’s when I’m very grateful for my list! Once I’ve decided on a subject, I always sketch out a quick mind map with the points I want to include. Occasionally, this process will help me to see that there is more to the subject than one post can provide, or that I’ve complicated things with several ideas, so the mind mapping process prevents me from tangling myself up with difficult writing and editing tasks. Then I get on and write it. If I don’t have a looming deadline, this can take ages and involve a lot of faffing about and procrastinating. I’d love to be the sort of writer who has plenty of ‘back up’ articles written and ready to go in case of emergency, but I’ve learned that I am truly a last-minute Mary and that, without a deadline, nothing really gets done. I’ve learned to work with this, and make sure that everyone knows that my emails, with this week’s blog post, go out on a Thursday come what may. My newspaper deadline is set in stone, which is perfect, and I make sure anyone else I’m writing for gives me a date and time they want it by. Then I’m sorted, and I write it in the nick of time. Then I always, always make sure that I read my writing through out loud once I’ve written it, even if I’m bang up against my deadline. It makes the biggest difference – editing happens on the spot. Then the thing gets sent off and I make a celebratory cup of tea.
Next week’s blog hopper is the wonderful Chelle McCann. Do be sure to visit her blog and check out her answers to these questions.
Chelle is mama to a feisty red head called Fizz and wife to Gav. Since 2009, Chelle has been on a massive career and life changing journey – first being a mama then returning to work, setting up her own business all while blogging her journey. Chelle blogs at Unique and Chic (www.uniqueandchic.co.uk) as well as running the social media support service called Social Sparkle, a collective of mumpreneurs experienced in all things social media management and building online communities for small business owners.
© Straightforward Coaching, 2014