My pal Kathy Schiffer tagged me in the writing relay, #mywritingprocess.
Now I’m up, and this should be a piece of cake. After all, this relay asks me, a blogging politician, to talk about myself. How tough is that? Get your earplugs and eyeshades ready.
1. What are you working on?
We’re entering the home stretch with the legislative session — crazy time — so I’m not “working” on anything. I’m just running from one thing to the next. Kind of like playing a giant game of wackamole that isn’t a game. It’s my life.
In between that, and oftentimes while I’m actively doing something else, I hammer out blog posts. I try to proof read before I post, but no matter how many times I proof, I always see mistakes after I post and have to make corrections online. Then, I re-read and do it again. And again. And again.
If it wasn’t for kindly readers who give me a nudge once in a while, I would end up with some really stupid errors out there for the whole wide world to see. Some days, it happens anyway.
Does that answer “What are you working on?” Maybe not. Probably not. I am also writing a book, which is the first of three books I am going to write. But I put that on hold until June for the simple reason that it doesn’t lend itself to the stop and go craziness of end of session life.
Not that blogging does lend itself to it.
But blogging can be bent to work … most of the time.
I’ll probably have to take a blogging hiatus for a week or so toward the end of the month. I’m pretty elastic, but there are limits to how far I can stretch writing abilities.
2. What makes your work different from others’ work in the same genre?
The difference is the me that I put into it. Lots of people can write about faith. Even more people can write about politics/public life/challenges to faith. But I’m the only one who can write about it as me, with my unique viewpoint and ideas.
Egotistical as this sounds, I think that’s what makes my work special. I’m not talking only about blogging, but my work as a legislator and every other thing I’ve done in my life, including raising my kids.
I am my own unique self, as is everyone who reads this. What I have to offer to any endeavor I undertake is that essential and totally unique self, that me-ness. I honestly think that where so many people go wrong is that they try too hard to be like everyone else. If you focus on being like somebody else and doing what other people would do, you’ll end up living somebody else’s life.
I’m not the best writer at Patheos. Not even close. But I am the only writer here with my experiences, my ideas, my thought processes and unique values.
I don’t run away from myself.
That’s what makes my work stand out.
3. Why do you write what you write?
I have a sense of mission about what I’m doing at Patheos. I honestly believe that the reason I am here is what Protestants call “a God deal.” I guess you could say that I was tapped to write before Kathy tapped me for this writing relay.
I write what I write because I think it needs to be said.
4. How does your writing process work?
Maybe I should wait until I have a writing process to answer this one.
I write fast because I don’t have the option of writing slow. I can’t linger over word choices or meditate on possible reactions. I have to write it and then immediately go do something else. I basically use the same writing “formula” that I use for speechmaking.
When I first began making lots of speeches, I borrowed from something that President Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign manager once told Eleanor. Mrs Roosevelt was extremely shy and self-conscious. But because of her husband’s disability, she had to step up and make a lot of speeches on his behalf. His campaign manager gave her a bit of advice that, if you follow it, removes the terror from public speaking and writing:
“Have something to say. Say it. And sit down,” he told her.
That’s how I write. I don’t try for eloquence or even profundity. My goal is to have something to say, say it and then back off and let Public Catholic’s readers chew on it.
The identifiable process that I use revolves more around the technology I lean on to help me get things done. I have a Macbook Air 11” that literally fits in a big-ish purse and can be carried anywhere. When I’m out and about, I write with that. I use a blogging software called Mars Edit to draft my posts. I avoid writing online because I’ve lost too many things that way and because the internet can go to s-l-o-o-o-w-w-w-w with no warning.
By writing in Mars Edit, I can get it down. Then if the internet goes daft, I can wait it out by doing other things without fear of losing what I’ve written.
I have an old Mac Pro that I use when I’m at home. It is a fantastic computer with all the horses I need for the different things I do.
I use Macs because they don’t give me attitude, and they never wear out. I’ve never had a Mac go belly up on me. Not once in the all the years I’ve used them.
Passing the Torch
You’re gonna love the blogger I’ve tapped for the next installment of Writer Selfie. The Crescat, aka, Katrina Fernandez, who is my nominee for the most honest and uninhibited blogger on Patheos, is up next. I am so excited. I can’t wait to see what she does with this.