Recently I was asked to participate in a writing tour to shed light on different writers and bloggers work. Normally I don’t do a lot of blog tour type events, mostly because my schedule is a bit sporadic these days with projects, but this particular writer who made the request isn’t one to be denied… it’s probably my favorite writer in the world and certainly the one who influenced my love of writing and reading ripe, delicious words: my mom! My mom is a writer and blogger over The Empty Nest Mom.
Even as a young child I have very vivid memories of a beautiful, young mother settling into her bed after lunch with my sister and I on each side of her for an afternoon nap. Those memories of snuggling into my mom as a very little girl and listening to her read the magical story of Laura and her Little House On The Prairie adventures still linger in my mind. It’s fun now to see my sister reading that same series to her daughters at nap time or bed time. And it’s really no wonder I love writing so much.
So on to my process…
1.) What are you working on?
Right now I just wrapped up a huge writing project for a client that I’m both proud of and grateful to be a part of doing. It was designing and writing the curriculum for a montessori school based on basic business and financial literacy concepts. I think it’s a really cool project trying to educate and prepare kids with the importance that writing, reading and math play in their whole lives. Learning is never something we leave behind. Math and writing are how I run my business so this project was near and dear to my heart. I imagine my nieces and nephews doing the activities I wrote and it makes me happy.
Now that that’s wrapped yesterday it’s on to my weekly six articles, blog posts and the “usual stuff.” I also am almost done with editing a book for a client and this past week I had the pleasure of seeing an article I wrote back in March come out in the June edition of ALASKA Magazine. That project was particularly fun because one of the people I highlighted in the article happens to be my high school english teacher and my advisor as the editor of our high school Literary Magazine. Cool to reach out to her now, as a business owner and say “hey remember me from high school? You were a great teacher and now I am a published writer!” Pretty cool full circle moment.
2.) How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
To be honest, I don’t know that it really does. I’m just another writer/blogger out there in the world. I think the uniqueness of my work is simply the vast range it covers. Maybe that’s a bad things for business because I’m not specialized, but I just love writing and I love learning about new things. Obviously Alaska and aviation are big topics for me, because they’re my passions.
3.) Why do you write what you do?
I write about aviation because it’s pretty much my religion. I could geek out about airplanes for days and I get giddy talking about flying. I write about Alaska because it’s my home and more than just a place to live, the Last Frontier seems to run through my veins. Not because I was born there. Not because I have a historical family legacy tied to the 49th state. Simply because it’s the place in the world that makes me the happiest.
4.) How does your writing process work?
I would sum my writing process up in three words: Get Shit Done.
I used to be all about “being creative” and writing when the mood struck. Then when I started writing for a living I realized “inspiration” was a bit of a bullshit excuse I fed myself to get around the work. It’s great to be inspired, it’s more important to get it done. Being “a writer” is not a luxury I could afford any longer, I had to actually do the writing and drop the air quotes.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at a blank computer screen going, “how am I going to come up with eight article ideas this week? There is literally nothing left to talk about!”
Then remembering I need to eat and pay my rent… the ideas start to unfold. It’s not always an easy process but it’s the only process that works. Some days my Muse descends for a magical visit but often times I have to stalk her like a needy, jealous lover.
Writing is a discipline. Just like working out. You want a healthy body? It’s really, really simple. Consistently eat good quality food and stay active every day. No excuses. Want a healthy writing practice? Consistently write and read every single day. And just like working out, you’ll be surprised what consistent writing does to your practice. The more I write, the better writer I become and the less I have to stalk down my Muse.
Oh, and that’s another huge part of my process: reading.
I don’t know how you could be a writer without reading voraciously. I certainly couldn’t be. I read the newspaper every day, I read various magazines, I read books, many books, online articles, trade papers and fiction. I just read! Read, read, read and you’ll be a better writer. Promise.
Jill Brown is an Author, Blogger, and Professional Writer. She founded TheDuchessGuide.com and is the author of the newly released book: Royally Awesome: How To Live, Think And Be Epic Daily. Jill’s writing has been featured in ALASKA Magazine, AOPA Flight Training Magazine and she is a frequent contributor to SingleMindedWomen.com.
Follow Jill on Twitter: @JilltheDuchess