Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen


Halfway & My Writing Process

One photo a week of our family throughout the year. 26/52

We have reached the half-way point of 2014. Half behind. Half yet to come. For me, this is about the time that I take a look at the goals I made in January, cross off what I’ve done, delete what is no longer a pursuit I wish to spend time on, and make new goals for the rest of the year. You’re welcome to read about my thoughts on goals/priorities here. Since I haven’t formally done my re-evaluating yet, I don’t have any specific goals to share, but the biggest change from my original list is the unexpected closing of my photography business of 9 years. I didn’t plan that one! My goals for the rest of the year will include making a more serious effort to grow as a writer, lots of homeschool and family goals, and some personal fitness-related things.

I was tagged in a blog hop by my new blog-friend Rachel Haltiwanger at The Inspired Story with some questions about my writing process. Rachel describes herself as an “arms-wide-open type” and I resonate with that description. I’ve only recently become acquainted with her blog, but she has already inspired and challenged me through her writing. Check her out!

What Am I Writing or Working On?

Right now, writing for me is more about just writing something each day…an intentional attempt to express the richness of my life experience so that others will hopefully be encouraged. Life is busy with 5 kids ages 8 and under, and it really does take most of my energy to keep up with them. However, I’ve felt a call to write for nearly 10 years and only more recently (in the past year) have found the courage to write and share more publicly on this blog.

Behind the blog scenes, I free-write as often as I can. In July, I will be focusing my attention on two separate themes that have emerged from my free-writing over the past year and working toward developing and expanding on those themes. Either may become a larger work down the road, but for now I’m not putting pressure on myself to ‘write a book’. Instead, I’m doing my best to develop good habits for a healthy writing life, and move toward more focus and discipline as a serious writer.

How Does My Work Differ From Others in its Genre?

I’m not sure I know the answer to this question. First of all, I don’t really know what my genre is, besides a very general “Creative Non-Fiction” label. That is so wide open! I think my writing is an extension of my heart and spiritual life. I don’t really know how to separate the reality of my experiences with God from all the other parts of life, so that is probably something distinctive about my work.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I don’t have a consistent process, really. Writing looks different from week to week, season to season. At times, I embark on ‘writing challenges’ where I make some short term goals and try to  dedicate all my free time to completing those challenges. For example, last November I did a 5 week challenge. My goal was to write 60,000 words in five weeks. The result was 60,000 words of wildly random free-writes, but I did feel it was successful in moving me forward as a writer. This July I will embark on a similar challenge for me with a lot more focus as I narrow in on the themes that have surfaced.

I find with a challenge before me, if I cultivate space for where I’m headed, I’m a lot more successful. I set up a new document and title it with the date (YYMMDD) and later I add a keyword to the end that will help me remember what I mostly wrote about that day. I typically set up the new document every evening for the next morning, and save/close whatever I wrote for the present day before I turn in for the night. About half of my blog posts are lifted out of a free-write. The other half of my blog posts are inspired by the photos I took that particular week or situations I encountered. I keep a journal to jot down prompts and ideas as they come, and those often become my free-write prompts.

What Other Writers Would I Like to Introduce to You?

Christin Taylor – I have a huge amount of respect for Christin and have been privileged to follow her writing journey for several years. She is a published author and a true wordsmith. Christin – I would love to have a glimpse into your process!

Lesley Miller at Barefoot at 45th – I was introduced to Lesley’s writing through Christin (above) when we both participated in a writing workshop that Christin facilitated. She doesn’t know (I guess now she might!) that I have stalked followed her blog for several years now, through the births of both of her children.

Hillary at Capturing Motherhood – I’m not sure if Hillary would really call herself a writer, but I have loved following her blog for years now. She writes in unconventional form, but I am always blessed by the thoughts she shares. She also loves photography, which is another thing we connect about. Hillary – I’d love to hear about any part of your creative process…writing or photos!

Kimberlee Conway Ireton – I first met Kimberlee through a local homeschool program where both of our families participated. I read her most recent book earlier this year (I highly recommend) and fell in love with her thoughtful writing style. She is wonderful!

So friends, if you have the time, I’d love for you to answer these questions on your blogs!

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3 Comments Halfway & My Writing Process

  1. Lesley

    Well, first of all, I am SO flattered. And I love seeing your face! The photo of your family is adorable. What a beautiful crew you have. 🙂

    It’s really fun to read about your writing process since you’re in a busy season of life, similar to my own. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just leisurely get up at 9:00am every day and write by fireside with a cup of tea until lunchtime? HA. But, if our life offered that kind of leisure, we’d be boring and have nothing to write about.

    I’m going to try and answer these questions (but I make no promises!) Thank you for tagging me! Such a fun exercise.

  2. Kimberlee Conway Ireton

    Emily, I’m honored (the word isn’t strong enough!) to be included in the list of writers you admire. Thank you so much!

    I enjoy reading about other writers’ creative processes, so this was a fun post for me to read. I highly commend your not pressuring yourself to “write a book.” Writing as a calling/joy is very different from writing as a career. Ten years in, I’m still trying to discern which kind of writer I am 🙂

  3. hill

    you are such a dear to include my little slice of blogworld on this list! oh my goodness.

    my mother-in-law is a tutor and knows every rule there is to know about grammar and since i do not, i write in a way that breaks all the rules. i feel it’s safer that way to express my thoughts.

    i often craft blog posts while i am taking photos or experiencing life. if i just sat down at the computer, i don’t know what i would even start writing about. i typically see my world through my camera lens… whether it is actually up to my eye or not. i prefer to live life that way… it tends to be much more raw.



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