What’s your writing process?

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”.

The writing process

Here goes…

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!

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7 Replies to “What’s your writing process?”

  1. Michaela

    Ahhh! You mentioned me in a blog! That made my day!
    I promise I read the rest of the blog too. 😉
    Journaling is a hobby of mine as well. My favorite part is simply looking over what has happened over just a few weeks or months. It also helps me remember God’s lessons and blessings.
    Guess where I’m going tomorrow? SCA to sub for high school English. It made me think of you.

    Reply
    • S'ambrosia

      Haha. I’ve always kept the thought in the back of my mind that I need to give you credit for being the one to really challenge me to start writing. Thanks for being a good influence on me. 🙂

      You’re totally right about journaling too. When I look back on my journals from middle school I mostly shudder in horror at how boy crazy I was, but to see answered prayers is really uplifting.

      Have fun tomorrow and tell the kids I said hi, please!

      Reply
  2. Rachel G

    You’re right that there’s not a whole lot of blogs that focus on cross-cultural marriages–and every cross-cultural marriage situation is so different, yet I find that there’s a lot we can relate to. My husband is Mexican-America, his parents are immigrants, they all speak Spanish to each other, while I’m a white American who grew up in SE Asia (and now we live together in China), so intercultural situations are the norm for us.
    And, funnily enough, some of our best couple friends are a Japanese man married to a Caucasian lady from the midwest–we can sit and laugh for hours over the funny shared experience of a marriage that blends two cultures, languages, and ethnicities!

    Reply
    • S'ambrosia

      Your story is so interesting, Rachel. I love it! May I ask what brought you and your husband to China? Have you learned to speak Spanish or Mandarin yet?

      Relationships with other cross-cultural couples are the best. We also have had some really funny conversations with other AmeriKenyan couples we’ve met here, and we especially appreciate those who have an intimate knowledge of the ever-frustrating visa and immigration system.

      On another level though, there are 43 tribes here in Kenya, so a lot of the couples we meet are inter-tribal, which makes it easy for us to identify with them as well. Really, every couple is cross cultural in some way or another (we all have unique upbringings), so like you said, we can all relate. It’s just fun to connect with others like yourself who are on the extreme end of the spectrum. 😉

      Thanks for commenting! Hope to connect again!

      Reply
      • Rachel G

        I can speak some Mandarin and some Spanish, but I’m not fluent in either. Lately I’ve been working a lot harder on my Mandarin, for obvious reasons. 🙂

        Reply
  3. ygladney

    Yes, I too am always watching, observing and learning and ultimately verbalize what I’ve seen.

    I am a firm believer that no one person is the same and, I have allowed this thinking to transfer over to my blogging experience. No matter how many blogs there are, each blogger presents from her/his own perspective.

    You have a very unique story that is not only intriguing, but inspiring as it must have taken a huge amount of faith to leave this soil for Kenya.

    I started my blog as I realized that there simply was not a lot of blogs where people, especially African American women could find encouragement, a cheerleader and someone willing to help them through.

    God will always give us what we need and, the Peony Project has been nothing less than a blessing for me.

    Oh yeah, I am a Pinterest kinda girl and Twitter is not far behind. I’ve grown my audience through those two networks.

    God Bless and Have a Fabulous Weekend.

    Yulunda
    Y I’m Writeous

    Reply
    • S'ambrosia

      Hey Yulunda,

      Totally agree. No one person is the same. Everyone that shares, even if they’re blogging on the same topic as 500 other people, will have a unique perspective to share. That’s the beauty of the blogging world.

      Thank you for your compliments. It did take a lot of faith, and my faith is continuing to grow as we live out each day, but I thank God for being with me every step of the way.

      You’re so right about African American women not having so many blogs to read for encouragement. I’m glad your blog is available, and I hope that many women are able to find it and be blessed by God’s ministry through you.

      Kudos to you on the whole Pintrest/Twitter thing. I’m too long-winded for Twitter and I use Pintrest, but selfishly (I only use it to pin ideas for our organization, really. I don’t use it for anything else). I’m glad you’ve been able to make those things work for you though. Keep on keeping on what that.

      Reply

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