I began working with Leigh Shulman in my early days at Matador Network, and now she’s my mentor and personal writing coach. Her advice and feedback has been really valuable for me over the years, and I just LOVE talking about the writing process with her. (Plus her and blogging superstar Jeannie Mark are about to launch their own writing retreat, so keep following The Future is Red for more details.)
She asked me to participate in this writing blog hop with four questions focusing on writing. And since I love talking about myself more than anything else in the world, here we go!
1) What am I working on/writing?
I’ve started applying to universities for my MFA in Creative Writing, but unfortunately there aren’t many low residency schools out there that don’t charge about a million bucks per semester for tuition.
I’ve taken a bit of a break from travel writing this month. The last few months I had been writing some content that has kinda sucked the joy out of writing for me. C’est la vie.
BUT I’ve started writing fiction again, which is where my passion began. In fact, I almost exclusively read fiction these days. I’m working on a book (god that sounds lame, doesn’t it?) and I’m really happy with how it’s going. I didn’t think I COULD write fiction again until I just started doing it.
2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I often discuss the lack of “honesty” in writing these days and I feel it’s what gives me bit of an edge above some of the competition. I didn’t always start out that way, either. When I started writing on my lifestyle blog (That’s Tangly), I was brutally honest because I didn’t have much of a readership. I started holding back a bit when I launched Candice Does the World. I went back to That’s Tangly recently and felt a little surprised about how RAW the content was back then. I didn’t care that people knew about me drinking and doing stupid things as a 20-something. It took its toll after awhile and I started censoring much of my CDTW content.
Fuck that. You’ll never connect with anyone by being dishonest or censored. I went through a hard spell last year after a short affair with a guy I cared about deeply, and the blog posts I wrote about the experience garnered some overwhelming responses. It reminded me that we’re all human, and we all need something to hold onto, and people to connect with. And man, it’s good to know I’m not alone.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I started writing about Newfoundland and Labrador because I realized the lack of travel writing love in the blog scene. My life as a travel writer kinda escalated from there.
But I also write tons of marketing copy, web copy, and technical content. I started out writing sonar manuals, after all.
On the OTHER hand: fiction was my first love, and always will be. I feel like I’ve strayed so far from that original passion, and I’m working to get back there. Sometimes I feel like it’s the only kind of literature that still gets appreciated these days.
4) How does my writing process work?
A few shots of tequila, a few lines of cocaine, and lots of silence.
But now that I’ve started thinking about this question, I’m afraid I don’t really have a writing process. I kinda just sit here and let it flow. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I’ll have vivid images that come to mind and I’ll write them down. From last night: “My flaws piling up like firewood ready to ignite.” I’m not even sure what this means.
Basically, I need to be passionate about what I’m writing. I need to love it. I need to be inspired. Often it’s from the heart and I try my best to keep it that way. But it isn’t always easy.
What happens next on the blog hop?
I’m passing the torch along to three other writers I know who are talented and wonderful. I’ve connected with these people a lot in the past and I’m always so thrilled by their support and passion as writers.
Natalie Taylor – Natalie and I hit up Prague two summers ago. Ask her about David Cerny.
Tammy Burns – Tammy is one of those folks who works HARD as a writer and is constantly creating great content.
Pamela McNaughtan – Pam’s writing career seems to have taken off lately, and it’s well deserved. She’s living it up in Quebec City now, which is one of my favourite places.
Should you choose to accept this mission, your post will go live next Monday. Write on!