I’m pulling back the curtain and sharing with you all a behind-the-scenes look at the writing of OneThingAlone.com.
The lovely Marissa of Trending Mama was kind enough to include me in a fun blog hop, and this week it’s my turn to answer a few questions and introduce 3 writer friends. Next week, those 3 friends will answer the same questions and introduce 3 friends. And on and on it goes!
Here are the 4 questions:
What am I writing or working on?
My biggest project is what you’re reading right now: this blog. I’ve also started contributing at Essential Thing Devotions and iBelieve.com, which I’m very excited about. A year ago I never would have dreamed of God using my writing in this way. This is just a testimony that He uses the weak things of this world to point us to His brilliant grace and power.
Other projects I’m working on: I just finished updating my eGuide, Dwell Deeply: 25 Resources to Help You Deepen Your Relationship with Jesus. I’m now working on a packet of prayer cards to help women confront lies and conquer with truth. It’s my hope to equip women to walk joyfully and victoriously with Jesus.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My initial reaction is to say, “It’s not as good as everyone else’s,” but that’s just the lies of the enemy trying to knock us down by using comparison to steal our joy. (Tell me it happens to you, too?)
Ok, so different.
I’ll expand on this more in the answer below, but I tend to avoid stream-of-consciousness and “what-I-had-for-breakfast” posts and focus on how my writing can benefit the reader. I also try to include stories from my childhood as a missionary kid in Romania that are different enough to peak interest but similar enough that my readers can relate to them.
I know there are lots of great bloggers who do that well, and I hope to feature some of those bloggers in the coming months so you can get to know them, too!
Why do I write what I write?
I try to glean from my own painful experiences to bring hope and encouragement to women (and men) reading my blog.
I got this from Chris Fabrey when I called into his live radio show last year (true story!) to ask him how he avoids writing “kitsch.” He graciously took my question and responded, in essence, that the best writing comes from a place of deep hurt and pain. At the time, I naively thought that meant I wouldn’t be a good writer until I’d experience trauma.
As I began writing and sharing my posts with others, I discovered that we’ve all experienced pain in one way or another. Regardless of what causes the hurt, our tears are precious in God’s sight. So when I started writing with the Five Minute Friday community, I began to tap into some of my heavy memories that I’ve buried deep inside.
The writing has proven to be therapeutic because it forces me to re-enter those memories and to proclaim the victory of Jesus over the lies I’ve cowered under. Those have also turned out to be the posts that have resonated with my readers the most, because we’ve all been left out, kicked down, looked over, and we all long to hear the gracious Gospel of Jesus that He has come to seek and to save the lost, to redeem our brokenness and make something beautiful out of it.
How does my writing process work?
My writing process is a work in progress. It looks something like this:
- Jot down post ideas as soon as they come to me (it could be a Bible verse, a title, a sentence, an outline, or an entire post word-for-word). I usually use the Evernote app on my phone for this.
- Sit down once a week and work through drafts to come up with 2-4 good posts. I work outside the home 30 hours/week, so most of my blogging is done in batches.
- After I’ve written the post, I’ll look for a picture or a quote I like and make a pinnable image on Canva to go with the post. Honestly, this is the hardest part of blogging for me. If I had a virtual assistant, this is the first thing I would outsource. (One can dream, right?) 🙂
- Check my editorial calendar and juggle posts into the right slots. I try to post three times a week, and I have a monthly theme which helps me explore topics more fully (see my #IntentionalLife post for a listing of 2014 monthly themes). I try to work ahead so I don’t throw something together last-minute, but that’s an ideal I’m still striving for.
- If I have more posts than I have room for in my editorial calendar (which doesn’t happen very often), I’ll pitch guest posts to other blogs and then link back.
- Lastly, I’ll pick out 4-5 quotes from the post and schedule them in Buffer to be shared on my social media platforms. I’m still new at this, so it’s kind of hit and miss, but I’ve been learning as I go. And that’s what’s great about blogging–it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!
And now the fun part….
I’m introducing three of my blog friends to you all today. Below are three fantastic women, and I hope you enjoy getting to know them and their hearts to encourage women with their words.
Arabah Joy is a biological and adoptive mom, a wife, and missionary. She went from having a classy career as a CPA to living a nomadic life, eating pig snouts and brushing her teeth with bamboo toothpaste. She and her family currently live on the 26th floor of a high rise somewhere in Asia. Arabah has written several books, including the soon-to-be-released book Trust Without Borders. She loves to connect with folks at www.arabahjoy.com
Kaitlyn Bouchillion is entering her senior year in college at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Kaitlyn writes at It Just Takes One, where her heart is to encourage each person that they can change the world. Whether it’s by sharing a smile or giving a hug, it only takes one person to make a difference. Kaitlyn is a lover of words, crazy about stories and relationships, and obsessed with Downton Abbey. She’s addicted to laughter and can never turn down one more piece of chocolate. Visit Kaitlyn at her blog, or on Facebook or twitter.
Whitney Cornelison is a lover of Jesus, wife, and mommy to four littles under 6. She is the blogger behind Beauty in the Mess. Whitney loves crafting, all things Disney, collecting vintage treasures, and the beach. At Beauty in the Mess, Whitney shares about life with littles, how she uses essential oils in their family, faith, and products that she loves.