You know how you meet people from time to time who are like siblings? I used to work with someone who could have been my brother. He and I got on famously, bickering all the time. I invited him to a party at my apartment, which both of my real siblings attended. They were both smitten; they too saw that he was clearly our brother-from-another-mother. He came for Christmas every year and he performed the ceremony at my sister's mock wedding (she'd eloped and this was the party for the masses, it needed a theatrical gesture).
More recently, not long after I started this blog, I found a sister-from-another-mother - Sarah, from Splitting Infinitives (though you might remember her as Slouching Mom). There are eerie coincidences in our lives, and we had similar mothers, and, it's hard to explain but we just share an odd cosmic bond. Last week, Sarah flattered me enormously and asked if I wanted to be next in line in a writing meme, #mywritingprocess, writing about how and why and what I write.
Here's the thing. I'm not a writer. Oh, I write. And I know that I'm a better writer now than when I started blogging. Even my husband says so. But I'm not a writer. I'm a woman. I'm a gardener and an occasional sewist, I'm a cook and a daily commuter. I'm a mother, I'm a wife. I'm a Horrible Mensa Bitch and the Director of Everything Else - those are my favorite alternative titles that I threaten to put on my next business cards, because my actual title is sort of dull and doesn't convey all of the things I do at work. But I do write. I write letters to the editor, and I write employee handbooks, and I write advertising copy, and I write recipes. And I write about the things my child does, and I write about my mother, and I write about words that annoy me, and I write about the delight one can find while merely walking down the streets of New York City. And I write tiny little book reviews, and I write emails to the PTA, and I write so many paragraphs and sentences and novels in my head that never even get anywhere near a piece of paper.
It's exhausting just thinking about it.
But I'm not a writer. I'll prove it to you: I am constitutionally incapable of answering the following assigned questions.
1) What are you working on?
2) How does your work differ from others' work in the same genre?
3) Why do you write what you do?
Because it's what occurs to me.
4) How does your writing process work?
It just comes. Like the gravy.
But what I do know is this: the more you write, the better it gets.
Two of my favorite writers - writerly writers - are next up.
The first is one of my oldest dearest friends, someone who writes and edits all day long, and blogs in her spare time: Julia of Lotsa Laundry. The other is an American in
Paris Barcelona: Maggie of Maternal Dementia.
Let's put it this way. If I'm zooming through Feedly reading posts, I never ever hit "mark all read" on their posts. In fact, I usually "save for later" so that I can savor and ponder their words. You will too.