I always love taking a peek into the behind-the-scenes of people's blogs. I find it interesting that while so many of us share this hobby [or profession] we all approach it in different ways. everyone shares different pieces of their lives [and themselves] on their blogs, and getting to see something other than the usual always intrigues me. a while ago, Christina tagged me in a post to share my writing process. I've finally gotten around to answering this prompt - enjoy!
what am I currently working on/writing?
as far as the blog goes, I'm still catching up on travels from as early as April. Japan, Taroko, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Taipei... and bits of Michigan summer. part of this is just the sheer volume of photos I have. but mostly, I like to write about what I'm feeling that day. and my emotions don't always work in chronological order. so the older travel posts are mixed in with newer adventures and bits of daily life. I also want to incorporate some changes based on the feedback I've received from my blog survey, but with the holiday season upon us that may not be until next year.
and then we have the book. for the past year, I've been working on a travel memoir. something that reads more like a novel, a comprehensive narrative, and not a blog. currently I'm in the midst of my first edit/rewrite, making all the changes I marked up this summer. I'm about 2/3 through with that, but I still need to write a healthy portion of the ending. I've been struggling to make time for this lately... but I swear one day it will be published. [for the sake of not turning this post into a novel, I'm only going to talk about writing for the blog from here on out.]
how does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I suppose my genre would be "travel blog" or "expat lifestyle blog" if I had to pin it down. on the surface of things, I think I am living a different life from many other expats in Asia. or at least I don't fit into the "twenty-something ESL teacher who spends their weekends backpacking" stereotype. I'm almost-thirty, a trailing spouse, and didn't particularly enjoy my first solo travel experience. not that any of this makes me better or worse - just different from much of what I've encountered.
but I think I'm getting off the real question here.
what really makes my blog different, is that it's me. I don't just want to show you location X, I want to show you my version of it. some days it may not shine through as much, but I try to weave in my personality and personal experiences. I've worked hard [and still am] to develop my voice as a writer, but I have more practice showing than telling. photography is something important to me, and to my blog. someone recently left me a comment that really made me feel awesome: "I think if someone gave me a random set of blogger photos, I could pick out yours every time." I'd like to think the sharing of my experience, voice, and photography on this blog offers a unique perspective - but then again wouldn't we all?
why do I write what I do?
I sortof fell into travel blogging unintentionally. for years I kept a personal blog, just writing about whatever. as my love of photography and food grew, I started a baking blog. then I moved to Taiwan and decided to start a new blog from scratch, not really intending it to be anything other than about my life. but the nature of expat life [and the travel opportunities available to me] sent my work in that direction. then one day I discovered that travel and expat blogs were actually a thing. and I started to connect with that community, and my content shifted to fit more into that genre because it gave me a place to belong.
I could write about nail art or recipes or any of a million things I enjoy. but travel and expat life are the broadest, most flexible [and most photogenic] topics I have right now in my life. honestly, I just love telling stories.
how does my writing process work?
as I mentioned above, I like to write what I'm feeling. what that actually means is - if I'm not "feeling" a topic that day, I won't write about it. I think readers know when your heart isn't in your writing, or even when your interest isn't there. planning out what to post which day never really works for me. some days I have a specific topic or [usually] set of photos I am eager to share, and that's what you get. and some days I have to draw from the well of draft posts and stockpiled photos and just make it work.
when I'm composing a post, I almost always start with the pictures. I cull through shots from a certain day or event and choose which ones will help me form a story. when I'm struggling with what to write, the photos help me. sometimes though I just have something I need to say, or a specific thing I want to write and that will drive the photos. like this post- I had the topic and so created images to go along. but I shot and edited the photos first, then did the writing.
it takes me a while to write my posts because I always like to walk away from it for a bit, then come back and proofread with perspective. [and thankfully my Mom likes to email me when a typeo gets through.] sometimes I start with a vague idea and spend days or weeks pulling things together from a string of photos or phrases, tweaking it into something I feel is worthy of publishing. and sometimes the words just fly out of my fingertips.
either way, coffee is almost always involved.
what's your writing/blogging process like? do you stick to an editorial calendar or just let yourself write? feel free to "tag yourself" and answer these prompts - leave a link to your post in the comments below so I can check it out!