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my writing process — or lack thereof

Lois sleeping

My initial reaction to being invited to join a blog hop about my writing process was hysterical laughter.

“Are you serious?” I asked, wildly trying to visualize the way words get from my head to the screen. “What writing process?”

You see, that picture above pretty much sums up how I do my best writing. But I’ll get to that later.

I’m actually really honored to be included in this blog hop because I so love and respect the writers who are participating. Of course, I had to say “yes,” but, secretly, I’m still wondering what words of wisdom I can possibly impart and how anything I say will remotely help anyone who wants to become a writer.

So, if you’re still onboard after that disclaimer, welcome into my head. I’m jealous you’ll be able to leave.

Why do I write what I do?

I write about things that interest me – and that means everything from my feelings about midlife to the songs I’m loving now to Cronuts – because I believe anything is more powerful when you’re passionate about it.

Also, I really like to share. There is nothing better than having a reader relate to what I’ve written and take some kind of action, whether it’s looking at an issue from a new angle, finding a new product, place or way to make a difference in the world or just spending a few minutes laughing. It’s so rewarding when readers leave a comment or send me an email telling me how much a specific post resonated with them. That sense of community is very important to me.

I’ll admit it. I love having people read my work. If I didn’t care, I would just write in a journal.

What am I working on?

I just got invited to be part of Life Reimagined, an amazing initiative from AARP which I’m very excited about because it’s something I believe in strongly. I’m writing my first post, which will go up on Monday.

I’m also working on some fun pieces for USA Today, Boomeon, Manilla and Felicity Huffman’s What the Flicka? and am pitching some ideas to a couple of my favorite magazines. My dream is to write for O magazine and I’d love to write for Entertainment Weekly again.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, it inherently differs because it’s mine. It’s my voice, which is unique from every other voice even when we’re writing about the same subjects. My writing is very conversational and, for better or worse, I pretty much write the way I speak. Minus the New Yawk accent.

How does your writing process work?

Ah, the $64,000 question. And, by the way, why does that question use the word “your” when all the other questions use the word “my?” See, that’s the stuff that distracts me and makes it impossible to use the word “process” to describe my writing.

The truth is, I think I do my best writing while I’m lying in bed, trying to fall sleep. Ideas flow and marinate all night long – which is probably why I have deep bags under my eyes – and I write sentences in my head which I try to remember to spew into my laptop when I wake up.

People think I write fast and easily but, honestly, that’s because I spend so much time thinking about what I’m going to write. I just do it while I’m out shopping or eating lunch or watching TV rather than while I’m sitting at my laptop. Because if I sit down at my laptop, this is what happens:

Write a sentence. Check Facebook. Follow long thread about someone’s blog. Click onto that blog. Read it. “Like” it. Comment. Get ready to Tweet it. Want to tag someone else. Go to Twitter to find that person’s handle. Check out my new followers. Follow them all back. Go to fridge for an iced tea. See some mold on the block of Cheddar cheese. Google whether it’s okay to just cut off the moldy part. Ooh, look at the Anthropologie ad. Free shipping today! Spend 20 minutes and $150 on Anthropologie.com. Why do I have a Word document open? Delete sentence.

Okay, I’m exhausted now. Thanks, Connie McLeod, for including me in this blog hop. I hope you’ll all check out some of my fellow writers’ posts because they do have some really great tips.

As for me? I have a post due tomorrow so I’m going back to sleep.

I’m honored to pass the blog hop torch to my great friend, Elin Stebbins Waldal, who is a beautiful writer and one of my favorite people in the world. A writer and inspirational (truly) speaker, Elin is the author of Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life. Read about her writing process on her blog, Beyond the Backyard Blues.


  1. I love your writing style! It’s so much easier to relate to someone who is more conversational. This post cracked me up with your reaction to your writing “process”. Mine… I either write or a don’t. lol And I especially don’t if it’s raining outside.

  2. My blog is kind of the same way – just random things about me, my life or what I like. It’s all over the place and I like it that way!

  3. Oh lucky me to follow you…(GULP)
    Like everything you write, I loved reading about your process. I can always hear your voice when I read your posts (and yes I even hear the accent!)….which keeps me coming back for more.
    And now…since the torch has been passed to me…I suppose I need to write mine…sadly that involves more than a night’s sleep so stay tuned, I have a hunch I will get a very clean house out of this blog hop!

  4. I believe, with all my heart, that “conversational” describes your voice so perfectly! I look forward to reading your posts sometimes just so I can feel like I am actually talking to you. Sounds silly but oh so true!

  5. Love your conversational style and lucky me, since I’ve met you in real life, actually hear your voice when I read your posts. It’s like you’re talking to me! Love the photo 🙂 xo

  6. LOL that is pretty much how my writing process works-constant interruption but I feel like I get some great brainstorming done this way 🙂

  7. Funny! You,are,a very talented writer thanks for sharing

  8. I understand your way of thinking. I have people tell me to find a niche… But that is not me. I like writing about what I like and love.

  9. I love how comical and down to earth your posts come across as. I rather read them than another blogger who sounds like a robot.

  10. I agree with Amy. I love your writing style, I feel like I know you.

  11. My writing process is actually painful. Stress and obsess until deadline hits, then crank it out and think it’s terrible. I usually go back later, though, and quite often I think, “Hey! That’s not half bad!”

  12. I really enjoy reading about other bloggers’ writing processes. Mine is all over the place, personally. It sounds a lot like yours, except with a few rounds of Pet Rescue Saga thrown in!

  13. Hope you got some extra rest! I love reading about other writers “process”

  14. Wow! It sounds like you have written for some pretty cool places! Good for you!

  15. I think this is what I love most about you, Lois. You write as if I am sitting across the table from you (or lying in the next bed!) having a conversation. You are YOU. And when I read what you have to say, I hear your giggly, sparkly, wise and knowing self talking right into my heart. Every single time. Your honesty comes through every word. And that, dear friend, is what I think is your process. Your authenticity.

    Loved the photo!

  16. To me you write like you talk. That is so refreshing and easy to read. Congrats on your accomplishments and get that needed rest! PS – Love your bed set – perfect for Spring!

  17. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Love this SO much, Lois! I envy you having a memory that can retain so much great stuff. Your writing always gives me a lift, always makes me smile. Love the part about how you get distracted: that is exactly what happens to me, too!

  18. Lois, Loved this piece for its natural grace. I dream in technicolor ideas too. The trick for me is to race to the computer to bang out my memories before they are just memories. Interested in Life, Reimagined. Will watch for you! Mary Lou

  19. Love this! It’s authentic and YOU…which is exactly what your writing brings to the reader. Get your talent out there!!

  20. i often have the same problem and sometimes I just do not feel like writing!

  21. Okay. I just startled the dog with my laughter because of you. You’re so much fun to read, Lois! Congratulations on these new opportunities to share your work!

  22. It’s comforting to know there are other writers who live as much time in their own heads as me ( or should that read, “as I do”? Not sure, and i don’t think it’s worth looking up!) Regret that we didn’t meet at EBWW2014 but i fully intend to make up for that by following you. Well not, literally – as in stalking you – but…Oh, there’s that ellipsis that all those Ermawriters were talking about on Facebook the other day …

  23. I now I appreciate the bags under my eyes! I’m a writer. Love the way you write and live.

  24. As a fellow writer, I had to laugh along with you! My process – or lack thereof – is very similar. I do my best writing in the morning when my inner critic is still asleep. And I keep little pads of paper all over my house so I can write things down when inspiration strikes.

  25. I completely enjoy your unique perspective and the easy read of your words. I hear your voice talking when I read your blog posts…it’s not the mundane subject predicate of boredom. You have a “right here, right now” feeling to your work. Keep it coming!

  26. I really enjoyed this post. I can relate to your writing process. I think about what I am going to write all the time, but, like you, get distracted when I sit down at my laptop.

  27. Hello Lois,
    I can so relate to your “writing process.” I’ve discovered that munching on avocado, nuts, chips, salsa, chocolate egg creams, etc. every time I encounter something challenging in my new world of blogging and social media helps ease my tension. Of course, I have also discovered that my writing process has also made me get fatter.

  28. There is supposed to be a writing process? My process is similar to yours that I write when I can and do my best thinking when my head hits the pillow. Oh how I wish I could remember how I word things while in bed though they sound much better than what I end up with!

  29. Hi – I do my best writing when I am walking!

  30. Fun fun Lois! And I can hear the New Yawk accent even over here in Arkansas. I bet your pillow wishes it could talk – if that’s where you get all your ideas flowing… great piece and great idea!

  31. Great process! At least you’re rested. I can never write in my sleep- I chase bears there. So fun Lois!!

  32. Love this! You’ve perfected it. I often go to sleep at night consciously telling myself to come up with the lead or idea or whole darn article I plan to work on the next day. Our minds do incredible things when we simply ask… then just sleep on it.

  33. Congrats on all your well-deserved successes and writing gigs Lois. Love hearing about your process, too. I think mine is very similar.

  34. I love your conversational style and only wish you could add in that New Yawk accent. And what is about writing that makes us all a bit ADHD?

  35. Karla Campos says:

    I think your writing is great, you can see and feel your personality shining through. There’s nothing more inspiring than that kind of writing, kudos to you!

  36. katherine bartlett says:

    My writing process is a lot like yours!

  37. I love to hear that you have your own way of writing that doesn’t follow the typical patterns. It’s that way with me also. I often think I need to get more process into it- but then I read something like this from you and I realize- it’s my own thing and maybe that’s okay Thanks Lois- Virginia

  38. I think the best writing is always written from passion and from the heart. So when you write stuff that interest you, you have the potential to make it really interesting because it’s natural and not something that could be boring. 🙂 Congratulations on joining the blog hop!

  39. I love your writing style! The more I visit your blog, the more I look forward to what you have to say! P.S. I would love to write for Oprah, too!

  40. It was inte4stin to read about your process. It gives insight to you and to how your blog comes about.

  41. I love the eclectic nature of your writing…what a unique idea, to write about anything that interests you!!! How often were/are we advised to pick just one topic, if we want to be successful. I could never do that either. Glad to know that you’re a fellow traveller.

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