Recently I joined a group of women on Facebook called The Peony Project. It consists of almost 300 Christian bloggers who encourage one another through social media support, praying for one another, commenting on each others’ posts, and link ups. There are a number of link ups circulating in the group, and I’ve been tagged by Neive of The Aussie Osborns in one called “The Writing Process”.
Question 1: What am I working on?
Some of you may know this from Facebook, but The Lookout magazine has hired me to do a devotional series for March 2015, so I’ve been reading through the assigned commentary in preparation for those. My goal is to get them completed before we move to Kitale next month! I also have been recording hours upon hours of information from Ray’s grandparents to pen a biography for them. They have a phenomenal story to share, and I hope to be able to do it justice as I relay it through my writing style. Aside from those bigger projects, I’ve got this blog, She Is Set Apart, and a few other freelance projects in the works.
Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?
Within the context of intercultural marriage, I honestly haven’t found many blogs focused specifically on tackling the topic, and even if I were to find one that was intercultural with a Christian American wife and Kenyan husband, it’d be even more rare to find a Black American with a Kenyan. Our relationship in general is just… different, so our story is pretty unique. I’ve also noticed since joining The Peony Project, that I’m not as into photography and Pintrest-y sorts of things as the majority of my blogging cohorts are. If you’re looking for DIY projects to spruce up your craft room or to decorate your house for fall, let the reader understand… I’m not your girl.
Question 3: Why do I write what I do?
For my own sanity. Journaling has always been a preferred outlet for me, but after marriage I found myself doing it a lot less. When we first moved here my social life was dangling by its bootstraps, and we didn’t have Internet access unless I went to a cyber cafe, so I couldn’t contact my go-to girls. With Ray leaving every day to go to town for work, I felt incredibly lonely and even depressed. My friend Michaela, among others, had suggested before we left that I keep a blog to share about what’s happening on this side of the Atlantic, so I began to write and I haven’t stopped since. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for me since we moved here. I don’t write to make money or because I think I have something to say that people need to hear; I do it for me. To share my thoughts and communicate with people as if we were sitting together. That’s one reason I appreciate the people who comment a lot (Kim Cooper) or people who message me on Facebook to talk more about what I write. You don’t know how much it means to me. Thank you for that.
Question 4: How does your writing process work?
They say you should avoid friendships with writers if possible because you never know when you’re going to end up as the subject of their next piece. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a fact. I write from my experiences and I experience life with people, so people are often the subjects of my posts. As an introvert, I’m always observing and processing. I may not always verbalize what I’m thinking, but I’m always wondering how I can frame what I’m seeing, feeling, and thinking into a blog post or a song. I usually keep track of my ideas by putting them on my phone or Ray’s phone, in my notebook, on scraps of paper, or by starting drafts on my WordPress app. Once I have the idea down, I usually can sit down and crank out a blog in about two hours. After that I’ll edit, edit once more, send it to Ray for approval, edit, publish, and then edit again. You can imagine what I used to do to my middle school students’ papers.
Writing has been such a phenomenal outlet for me personally, but also a spiritual challenge to do the things I encourage others to do. I’d like to thank those of you who have been supporting me all the way through as well as those of you who are new readers. It’s a blessing for Ray and I to be able to share our lives with you and to hear your own stories (i.e. your comments on the post about jealousy in marriage really encouraged me to know that we would get past it as we matured, and it didn’t take long for that issue to dissipate).
I also want to thank Neive for tagging me in this. This is the first time I’ve ever participated in a link up, and I look forward to doing more as I get acquainted with other ladies in the project.
Finally, to complete the challenge, I have to tag three other bloggerss to join the link up. I choose…
Naomi Martin – Art in Liberty
Sarah Siders – Sarah Siders
Debbie Rivers – Abundant Lifestyle
Have a great rest of the week, guys. Much love and many prayers!