How I write..(and all that jazz!)

Writing style, perspectives, blogging success

So, I find myself tagged in a Blogger’s Writing-Style chain post where I let all you lovely people know what makes me tick, and why I think people read me – and let it be said at the outset, I’m flattered – Proper.Flattered! Kerry – who nominated me, is the high priestess of Be A Mummy Blogger, with her years of experience in the writing industry and as a regular contributor to parenting and food channels on Yahoo UK , she aims to help bloggers and mumpreneurs take their blog to the next level!

For as long back as I can remember, writing has gone hand-in-hand with problem solving for me. I was one of those who kept a journal for a long, long time…way after it stopped being ‘cool';  and no, it wasn’t one that came password protected- I grew up in the middle ages, a chimp could’ve broken my code!

I’ve had several careers that revolved around writing- I lectured at University for six years, teaching Post Graduate students European studies for a while before I went to work with an American news corporation where I did scripting and technical writing for a very long time! We became parents, we moved countries, we set up new lives and through it all, I contnued writing – contributing to journals, writing academically too, as I took on a Ph.D. It’s just something that’s underscored every stage of my life!

And then came the gift of webspace and a WordPress theme…my friends and family totally twisted my hand behind my back and got me to start The Intrepid Misadventurer, and boy, I’m glad I did..It was the choice to put down all my thoughts-  emails that I would write about certain topics to a select group of friends, movie reviews that we would share- all finding a home at one destination and it being open to anyone who wanted to stop by for a chat, share a thought, contribute… It’s as close as I can get to a “mountain cafe”!

 

 

Writing style, perspectives, blogging success, decisions, red pill blue pill

 

Okay, let’s get down to business, grab the nomination baton and run with it 😉

What are you working on?

Currently writing about How I write..(and all that jazz!) … and then I’ve got two posts in my drafts (It almost never happens!) One is about Unfinished Business, yes-  a bucket list of sorts, but with a twist  – how are you going to leave your mark? What says “you were here”? Another which is going to be a food post, and a very manly one at that!  Then I will be doing some work for the English National Opera..You’ll have to watch this space for more..

I wish I was more organized with my writing, but I’m not. Writer’s Block is my default position, much like our grey skies- but then suddenly and without warning, the light just breaks through!

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I have always believed that we’re all more alike than we’re different and are powered, enthused, intrigued and perplexed by vastly similar things. Those “similar things” make the core of my writing. I don’t write about things I do with my children, for a lot of the times, they’re barely enthralling to me! A lot of mums out there do it better and are very inspiring…I learn from them about things to do with my 7 & 6 yr old girls. I don’t feel I’m quite there yet to be writing about our daily life..

I write about ideas and issues around parenting (introversion, birth order behaviour, raising children in a very nuclear cultural ethos – they don’t see family for years), I deconstruct trends that seem popular and appealing like our recent obsession with shelfies and all things retro. I write about music and meaningful living and I think I do it with a lighthearted approach. All my thoughts are perspectivesmy experience of life in my skin – not hard hitting truth and doesn’t call for my readers to be parents at all. There’s something there for everyone! I’m humorously snarky, for really all of us could do with taking ourselves a little less seriously – let’s leave the rabble rousing for the Tele, shall we?! :)

 

Writing style, perspectives, blogging success

Why do I write what I write?

If I knew, I’d tell you… I’m on a trajectory to being the 40 year-old in Baz Luhrmann’s “Everyone’s Free to wear Sunscreen” , of whom he says

“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.”

I guess I write what I write to access a world outside of me and my immediate life. I write to comapartmentalize my intellect and creativity from my routine…after a day of being mommy, getting school work sorted, lunches packed, dishes done, meals planned and then there’s afterschool to deal with, you can feel totally disconnected with the ‘why’ of you. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade any of the above to be the queen of the world, but writing is that magnifying glass that hones in on me and what I bring into the world. I hope that as you read what I write, you nod along with that shared experience, I hope that coming across my blog is a 5 minute break where you think of something differently, or add to the conversation because you and I are on the same page, but on different lines!  I write so I’m part of something bigger than myself – It’s a manifesto of where I would like to go with my life; it’s a chronicle of where I’ve been!

 How does my writing process work?

It all starts with a foggy mist, I’m never sure of what my next post would be. Ideas come to me, and like seeds, some die and some take root.. I do a lot of research if I’m writing about something that I claim has some sort of scientific backing, if not – I go with my creative flow.

My writing process is collaborative, I write to be spoken back to. My greatest need through my writing is to reach another person, to connect- maybe it stems from when I taught literature in a classroom and it was a two-way process!  Staying relevant to people’s lives is my basic premise, and to be honest about my voice. I don’t write to be liked, or agreed with…a connection can be made on differing opinions! More than anything, my writing operates on a level playing field, you’ve invited people into your world, play nice. The best ideas fall apart in a negative space!

My writing is meant to accomplish nothing other than remind us of our connectivity as human beings – we are as diverse as we are uniform, of celebrating shared experience that makes such a measurable impact on us all; knowing that we’re not alone in what we feel! If I’ve accomplished that with any one reader, then in my own right this is a successful blog!

Thank you Kerry from Be a Mummy Blogger for nominating me and getting me thinking, I’ve enjoyed mulling over the “why” of it all :) I don’t feel like I know anyone well enough in the blogging world to nominate them, but throw the invitation open to anybody who’d like to take this conversation into their own lives and tell us what makes them tick! X

You might also enjoy reading :

Nature, Nurture and Apples falling from Trees!

Retro-Chic and the Cult of Neo-Sobriety!

www.intrepidmisadventurer.com

* The images in this post are borrowed from Daniel Simm with express permission! All the images on this site are mine unless otherwise stated and I would really appreciate if I was asked before they were liberally used elsewhere on the net! Don’t say you haven’t been warned 😉

Blogging, Britmums and Everything in Between!

flowers, monochrome, black and white

It all feels like a beautiful dream – I’m a finalist in the Fresh Voice category for the Britmums Briliance in Blogging Awards 2014, I did not expect that! :)

The Intrepid Misadventurer was born to fill this great need I had for continuity – given that we had just moved from Notts to Norwich with an impending move the following year (we move to Bournemouth in two months).  I felt that with every new beginning, I left something intextricable behind, never to be got back, never to be had in the way that I did. I needed to create something that would move with me – a portable landscape that remained! I always wanted my own creative space – I had written before as a living when I worked as a Technical Writer and as a Lecturer when I taught at University for 6 years, but it was my job – a prescribed syllabus or writing that sold an agenda. I wanted a space where I could write whimsically, write about what moved me, made me laugh, broke my heart and never imagined that anyone other than my sister, my few friends and my husband would read it. It felt unreal when I signed up for a membership with Britmums and got my first reader, when my first post made the  ‘Most Popular Posts’ on the Britmums blog, I was on top of the world – (something I’m sure a lot of you’ve felt as new bloggers/writers). The sheer delight of finding out that there are others, and that they speak ‘Klingon’ too…and you dip your toe into this vast community that seems to have existed all along ‘in a galaxy far, far away’ from you! Standing as I do, at the brink of what promises to be a thrilling conference, I look back at the first entry I ever made..my Hello to the world of blogging!

flowers, monochrome, black and white

When I began this journey of creating The Intrepid Misadventurer, I decided, rather naiively (as is me) to not want to read up on “The Ten Things you must know before making a blog”, or what to write about, what sells, or how you’re guaranteed 50-70 hits a day, blah, bleugh! I wanted it to be an immediately self-related space that didn’t borrow or link with a larger, more commercialized culture.

I did however manage to come across some material, courtesy some well meaning friends who probably know me a little too well and know that I have a larger than optimum need for instant gratification. I’m a short-term person, who thankfully married, and surrounded herself with some invaluable long-term ones! I’m often content with the Small-Picture, the now, the today, the weekend at best :P Future considerations tend to fill me with dread, and skepticism. It’s too unknown, too uncertain, too filled with what researchers grimly term, ‘variables’! If something works for now, I’m game. Of course, not being a habitual risk-taker and having a rather strong head screwed on, helps me not having self destructed already.

The article mentioned that most blogs die at an average of six months, or less if you launch your site in December and if it features nothing about how to expertly bake cookies in under 8 minutes or craft with left-over pressurized fake-snow! It urged the blogger to keep going, writing, speaking to his/her desired demographic on social media, regardless of feedback, even if not a single person responded! Filled me with dread that there are people out there who wouldn’t have two well meaning friends who might log in to egg them on….the true state of human relationships! I silently gave thanks that I might just be spared THAT! Though some of my relationships bleakly resemble the script of Mary and Max (2009), even if the story did made it to Sundance!!

So there, I’ve decided to embark on this journey, not just of writing, but putting myself out there-open to the scrutiny, the kindness or scepticism of the world at large! I committed to accept the paradigm shift that one must continue talking, writing, reaching out, even if no one seems to be listening…and that’s it’s still considered an act of a committed, passionate and motivated person. No longer the exclusive purview of the decidedly deranged! J

If you come back to this space in 6 months (or be really nice and never leave), and find me jauntily discussing why summer is highly overrated and commoditized, and that man’s victory over the harsher cold is what we must be truly thankful for, then I’ve won that Battle-against-the Blog. It would be one of my worthier battles, I’ll tell you that, I fight at least two everyday!! One has to do with the cookie jar, the other, the tips of my fingers, and then there’s the family…and saving the donkeys!! And if I’m still chugging along, give yourself a nice big pat, you might have had something to do with it!

It all feels like a long, long way away from those beginnings,  and it brings me immense satisfaction when my readers tell me they leave with something to think about differently!  I’ve always tried to make this blog something that’s within the immediate framework of all our lives and like to think there’s something here for every adult, every parent – regardless of how old your children are or at what stage. We are all more alike than we are different and are powered, enthused, intrigued and perplexed by vastly similar things. Those “similar things” are what will continue to be the very soul of The Intrepid Misadventurer – A mellow-yellow pit-stop for a different perspective!

To everyone that’s read me, voted for me, ‘accepted me as friend’, followed me on Twitter (when I had two followers signalling my popularity) and Pinned my pictures – Thank you for this incredible journey! 😀 XX

FINALIST BiB 2014 FRESH VOICE

See this post here :Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Super Busy Mum


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