Looking to find my blogging voice

Little Simba sleeping
Sleeping on those blog posts.

Not really sure what to write about right now but figure it’s best to get a blog post out before I take my second GMAT practice test.

I have been missing in action lately, at least in the blogging world. Have been paralyzed by writers’ block and therefore have avoided any writing on here. I’m always active on social media, especially Twitter, considering now I participate in many more Twitter chats than before.

I use writers’ block as an excuse for the lack of blog posts when in reality I know that I have a lot to write about: I just don’t know where to start or where to focus. If you have been following my blog for some time, you remember how I spent a period of time last year blogging about career-related topics, such as the job hunt, handling conflict at the workplace, and so forth. Then, these past two years I have also taken interest in writing about local Denver companies/brands and what I love about them.

I want to continue to write about local businesses, but in terms of other topics (the career one included), I just find myself getting stuck. What do I want to be known for? Career advice? Social media? A smorgasbord of topics?

Maybe I am just putting myself into a box and doing more harm than good. I’m not sure; what are your thoughts?

Let’s Talk About My Writing Process…

Sunset in San Francisco, 2009
Sunset in San Francisco, 2009

Today’s post is special because it’s part of a larger project: My Writing Process Blog Tour. Back to regular programming next week!

Thanks to one of my favorite writers and good friend, Craig Lancaster (author of books such as 600 Hours of Edward & The Summer Son), I am partaking in this little blog tour. The premise is to answer four simple questions regarding my personal writing process and then tagging three additional writers to join in on the tour. Easy, right? 🙂

1. What are you working on?

Remember Novel 1, aka Writing the Past? My very first novel from NaNoWriMo 2007 (yes, that was my first time participating in the frenzy). It is now nearly seven years later: at the beginning of this year, I finally got the manuscript going again with some editing from Shonell Bacon, another fellow writer but also excellent editor. Just last week, I got around to organizing her comments on my manuscript and have started working on some grammatical issues, chapter by chapter. I want to get this novel published before my 30th birthday next January, but I will also be content to just have the final manuscript ready for agents before my birthday.

I am also working on getting some freelance blogging gigs, so if you know of any good leads, holler at me!

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

At the moment, I don’t know which genre Writing the Past should be included in. However, I do know that when I started writing this novel, I knew that I wanted to write the story of a family without fitting the family into a stereotypical box that other Asian-American writers tend to fall for in their novels. Unsure of if I’ll be successful with this notion in the final manuscript.

3. Why do you write what you do?

If you’ve noticed via my blog categories, I have written more than one novel since 2007. Granted, the rest of these are all at first drafts currently, but nonetheless, I got the words down. My novels have dealt with light and dark themes stemming from personal observations and sometimes personal experiences. I like to think I write what I write because I ultimately want to live vicariously through my characters.

4. How does your writing process work?

So far, my writing process has been just writing on the fly, especially during NaNoWriMo in November. The community in November really gets me motivated to get my word count up for each of my novels. Then, as you can see from my experience with Writing the Past, I wait out several years before I get around to edits and revisions, haha.

Naturally, I would love for this process to change so I can get more of my novels ready for publication after Writing the Past!


 

Now it’s time to tag the next writers!

Christin Haws is a long-time friend of mine online: we’ve known each other since Livejournal days (I believe that’s how we got connected). Christin writes short stories and just recently released her first self-published novel, A Tale of Two Lady Killers. She’s a huge baseball fan and rerun junkie.

Shonell Bacon is another long-time friend of mine, probably also from Livejournal; I don’t remember anymore! Shonell is: author, editor, educator, and sexy coffee lover! You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Megan E. Evans is a newer friend and fellow Denver resident. Megan is a freelance graphic designer, artist, and creative writer. She recently launched her blog Womb of Words as an accountability project on completing 100,000 words in nine months for a new work of fiction.

Thus continues the blog tour next week with these fine ladies!

NaNoWriMo Madness

Yes, I’m dipping my feet into NaNoWriMo this year. I know I am crazy for doing this, especially since I am swamped with grad work.

But, well, I feel like it’s a yearly fever for me: I never found momentum when starting on novels in other parts of the year, or even in participating in sister programs, Script Frenzy and Camp NaNoWriMo. That motivation, that camaraderie just wasn’t there.

And then October and November roll around and the online world goes frantic for NaNoWriMo. I feel the energy and I want to be part of it! I feel if I don’t participate, catch the fever, and revel in the insanity, I will be left out.

So I join in. Again and again.

I went to the Denver Kick-Off Party last night. The wireless network was not working too well for me, so I left early. Still managed to reach my Day One quota shortly after midnight. And, this year I actually did more preparation than in past years. I’m a half-planner, half-pantser now. Not bad: progress is progress.

I’m relieved to find a few other graduate students here who are participating in NaNo. Good to know I’m not the only one! We’re planning on having a write-in this weekend. Sure hope it works out.

Daily Post Day 57: One-Day Writing Workshops

A temporary tattoo from my niece.

 

I went to a One-Day Intensive Workshop today with the Gotham Writers’ Workshop here in New York. I took up this opportunity since I knew I was going to still be in town for a few more days.

I had many different workshops to choose from, but I decided on Food Writing. I admit, my poor food blog (Cinnamon Juice) has gone the wayside for awhile now. I loved the instructor, Fran, a lot and I enjoyed listening to all of my fellow classmates talk about their experiences with food writing and also hear them read their writing exercises out loud.

I walked away from the class feeling a little better about my blog. I know I need a focus on it, but I cannot think of a niche I want to feel. It is an ongoing battle for me. This blog (official one) serves as a dumping ground for general thoughts. That is fine. But every time I get a new idea for a new blog, I find myself caught up in fear as I realize I do not have enough material (nor do I feel like making much effort) to blog on a regular basis.

 

This is the first time for me to actually stay consistent with blogging even on this blog. Well, ok, I am partially lying. When I was using Livejournal last decade (wow, I sound old…), I used to write entries everyday…sometimes even more than once per day. Then again, back then I focused more on my personal life and its little details. Also, that blog ended up becoming “friends only” – locked.

Now, this blog may have skewed towards a more personal slant this year, but I know my boundaries a lot better than when I was younger. I know not to mention certain aspects and I know what I want to share and what I don’t want to share. It is that easy.

But of course, back to niche blogging. As soon as I think of a niche I freeze in my tracks and realize I do not have enough material. And when I think of a topic that has been done before, I have self-doubt that nobody would be interested in hearing my viewpoint because it has “already been done before.”

Well, I am glad I took the class at Gotham and I hope to hone my craft in food writing a bit more. I will announce my food blog plans in upcoming posts, once I get some ideas generated.

 

Daily Post Day 54: Method to My Blog Posts

How do you decide when a post is ready to publish?

I decide a post is ready to publish when it sounds smooth enough to me. I don’t usually drafts posts; I’d rather post right away most of the time. But, when I fall behind (ha ha…) with my blogging schedule, it does help to draft a few blog posts so I don’t seem as “behind” with posts after all.

This Post-A-Day Challenge has been quite helpful to me, even if I am falling behind. I like most of the prompts since they give me some new material to work with. Plus, to be honest, nothing much to report on my life right now (writing, semi-personal, etc.), so…these prompts help me out a lot.