My friend, freelance writer Annie Logue, invited me to participate in a blog hop, which is being passed around around the internet in order to get writers talking about their work and introducing their work to new readers. Here I go answering the template questions:
What am I working on?
Right now I am working on the following things, in order of priority:
1.) My dayjob work, which right now consists of a newsletter I'm wrapping up for the University of Chicago Social Sciences division. This is my third time doing it since I've been hired and I am happy that it doesn't seem to be as scary or stressful as it was the first few times around. (It's still a little stressful, though.)
2.) Revisions to a middle grade novel I am working on. They are kind of scary because my confidence levels are not at 100% and I don't have a lot of time but I know the edits make sense and it will come together eventually.
3.) Zulkey.com posts. In the back of my mind I think "I need to write more humor" and "I need to write more stuff that I can promote and pass around" but mostly I'm just trying to get it done so I have new material up several times a week.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This question freaks me out because I feel like I'm either going to be bullshitting or not proving why I should have a career. I think in terms of my personal work, anyway, I stand out because I am fairly prolific, have a broad range of interests I can cover, and I am told I have "voice."
Why do I write what I do?
Occasionally, at work, I'm given assignments that are more or less "just work," but I actually do also get to write about things and people that are interesting and important, which I consider a privilege. In terms of the blog, I try to write about what's at the front of my mind at the moment, and sometimes that is immediate, like a current events thing, or sometimes it's longer-brewing. I also try and write simply what works well into my life. I do not try and tackle television coverage the way I used to because with a toddler at home and a dayjob that requires some creativity and brainpower, I just find it much more difficult to come home after a day of work, eat dinner, be with my son and then sit down to watch some television and write something insightful, cogent and witty immediately after that.
How does your writing process work?
My favorite times are those days where something just hits me and I sit down and I pound an essay or blog post out really quickly and it just comes to me. That doesn't happen as frequently as I would like. My second favorite times are when something grows more slowly but consistently in my brain, like a book idea or a good way to organize a piece I'm doing for work, so that I can sit down and get to work with a bit of a plan. My least favorite times are when something I'm working on is an item on my to-do list (which is most times) and I get to it and I have nothing. Sometimes I just contribute a little bit to that particular assignment, sometimes I end up doing a medium amount, sometimes I move it to the bottom of my list and it eventually falls off. These days I do 98% of my writing when the sun is in the sky, Mondays through Fridays. My mind is best before lunch. I try and save work that doesn't involve actual writing (this can be editing) for the afternoon and I've stopped trying to kid myself that I'm going to do work on the weekends.