Blogging Tour (Blogging From the Heart)

blogging tour collage

A couple of week ago, Katia at IAMTHEMILK asked me if I’d participate in a blogging tour that’s making its way across the blogosphere. It’s not an award of any sort but a way for bloggers to share a little bit about their writing process. Below I answer four questions and then tag some other bloggers to do the same.

I love Katia and the way she finds just the right mix of humor and seriousness in many of her stories. Katia’s post about her writing process is On Trees and Writing but please read The Unbearable Lightness of Being Away where she shares her feelings about the Israeli and Palestinian struggle and how it feels for her to be so far away from her home.

What am I working on?

Well, I’m not writing a book. I might be the only blogger in the blogosphere who doesn’t aspire to be a published author, which raises the dilemma of how I will ever be on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday if I don’t write a book. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Right now, I’m working on my next blog post.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I’m not even sure how to describe my genre. I write about God but I don’t tend to use the same language as a lot Christian bloggers. I write about motherhood but I don’t really fit in with the mommy-blogs either. I write about recovery but I don’t necessarily attract a big sober blogging community crowd.

I’m a storyteller and my stories are born from my heart, so maybe that makes me a Heart Teller. I believe we all have several versions of the same story inside of us. Some versions make us look good to the outside world and downplay our responsibility in the way things have turned out. Other versions have us taking the blame for circumstances beyond our control and turn us into victims. I try to tell my heart story. My heart story is the place where I’m most connected to God, where I have a balance of responsibility and peace in the knowledge that I’ve done my best, and where I’ve found a song that I can sing in my own company.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I got my first journal when I was 10 years old and I named her Kitty (it was a Hello Kitty journal, duh). At first, the entries were cute and earnest.

Dear Kitty, I got to make ice cream today!

Then, I was molested by a friend of a babysitter and the entries began to change. I started to write lies and tell elaborate stories. What’s interesting is that the stories told the truth if you paid attention. At some point down the road, I became embarrassed about the stories and ripped several pages from Kitty and those empty spaces left a hole in my heart.

That’s why I write. To recreate the story I didn’t allow myself to tell. To tell my heart story.

How does my writing/creating process work?

I never type out my drafts directly into WordPress. I’m too afraid of accidentally hitting publish before I’m ready!

Usually, I have a point I want to make (the heart of the story) and I then I figure out which details support my point best. I might write thousands of words but I always cull it down to get the point across in the fewest words possible. I want the heart to remain distinct.

I almost always begin with the same thought: It happened the way it happened but it doesn’t necessarily mean what I think it means.

Sometimes, a post comes to me quickly and I don’t edit myself too much. Other times, it takes months for the heart to reveal itself and I go through several versions.

For me, the writing process doesn’t end until I reply to comments. I often learn as much from the kind people who comment as I do from the writing process itself.

Writers I’ve tagged and want you to read:

The Mercenary Researcher – If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you may already know that Rutabaga and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We honed our writing skills through the art of passing notes in class, one of the many things that texting has ruined. Rutabaga can be serious but she touches my heart through humor. Here’s one of my favorite laugh-out-loud posts:

http://themercenaryresearcher.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/you-not-nomal/

Message in a Bottle – Paul is an icon in the sober blogging community and it’s easy to see why. It’s rare to find a recovery blog where he hasn’t left a kind and supporting comment or shared a story about his own recovery. I look forward to his comments almost as much as his blog posts! He’s a prolific writer and it was hard to choose but this post is one of my favorites:

http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/im-fine-i-want-to-die/

MamaMick – Have you ever read someone’s blog and felt like you’ve known this person forever? Maybe in a past life? That’s how I feel about Michelle Terry. She’s a Heart Teller who happens to write from the heartland of our country and has a way of telling a story that makes me feel like I’m there. Lately, she’s been featuring guest bloggers but here’s post by Michelle that will make you love her as much as I do:

http://mamamickterry.com/2014/04/21/when-the-pony-tail-hits-the-fan/

21 Comments on “Blogging Tour (Blogging From the Heart)

  1. Pingback: Unpolished and Earthy (Blog Tour) | MamaMick

  2. Karen, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. And let me start by saying how sorry I am to hear about the molestation you suffered through as a child. This world is filled with some of the most beautiful souls (such as yourself) and the worst of demons… they come in all shapes and sizes… rapists, drug dealers, child molesters, bullies… ugh… it’s quite sad.
    But I think this is why God gives us the story tellers… or in your case, the “heart tellers.” You speak from experience which stems from your heart and for this, the world is a better place. I’m sure if and when you do decide to write a book, you will inspire the masses. Although I’ve only been given a glimpse of your writing, I can already tell how kind and genuine you are.
    I look forward to learning more about you and your writing=)

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    • It’s been such a gift to discover other ‘heart tellers” like you. I truly believe that we heal each other through sharing our stories. Thank you so much Gina!

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  3. I’m so glad you write just to write. Sometimes I feel like I should be working on something bigger – you know, on to the next thing! But I like blogging and journaling and I find it not only comfortable but helpful in processing things. Thank you for sharing this side with us 🙂

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    • I’m with you on that. Without my journals, I would lose all perspective. It’s so helpful to be able to go back and remember what a period of time was like. Thank you Kristen! I’m grateful for you!

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  4. Reblogged this on The Mercenary Researcher and commented:
    People,
    I am running on mush-for-brains, I wanted to reblog this the day my fabbo friend posted it…but alas, it happened not. MEA CULPA! MEA CULPA! PLEASE FORGIVE MY TRANSGRESSIONS, KAREN!

    Ok now that that’s over with – please read about the magic that goes on in Karen’s head. You’ll be glad you did.
    My favorite Karen story, and there are many, was when she was 14 she bought and WORE these plastic-y ‘alligakot (that’s alligator with a “K”) type man shoes at a some kind of weird place, I want to say a gas station/store in a small hellish town in Southern Arizona…maybe Gila Bend? But I remember thinking “I have never met a female that would buy shoes like that – I like this person” . That about sums it up.

    So what are you still doing reading this? Get to it, people!

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  5. “That’s why I write. To recreate the story I didn’t allow myself to tell. To tell my heart story.”

    I think that’s why so many of us write, Karen. Wonderful observation!

    Heart,
    Dani

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  6. Karen, like you, I have no aspirations to publish a book. I started “writing” as a way to express my thoughts & perhaps share a little insight. What I didn’t expect in return, was the amazing group of fellow writers I would have the pleasure of connecting with. They teach me & inspire me every day. I consider myself in very good company, including yours!

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    • Thank you Lynn! I know what you mean about meeting amazing people through blogging. I find myself wondering when I meet new people in “real life” if they blog! I want others to discover what I have. 🙂

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  7. “Heart Teller” ….oh yes! That is the most perfect description for you ever!
    I read your post yesterday, last night and again this morning. It took a full 24 hours to find something worthy and coherent to say. I was in such a peaceful, grateful place all day…I’m sure you had something to do with that 😉

    As I read your words, Brene Brown kept hopping into my brain as she has written so much on the importance of “owning our stories.” I can’t even pick a favorite, but the one that pops to mind is: “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do”

    You do that so well and it’s a daily inspiration to me. I’m honored to be tagged along with two other great writers (just met Rutabaga yesterday!!) and now need to come up with something to say:-)
    Thank you again, dear Karen…I feel just like you in that it seems we’ve friends for years. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love Brene Brown! I feel like you did yesterday, that I don’t have a coherent response to your comment other than to say thank you and I feel lucky and blessed to know you!

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  8. I’m with the root vegetable there in what she says about your writing. You truly are a heart teller. Your own heart whisperer, transcribed onto the screen. A thought provacateur. A seeker. And that is what I admire about your writing (and lots others, with your several Freshly Pressed’s!) I also admire that you edit, because that is something I absolutely don’t do…lol. I ramble WAY too much and my old writing teacher would have fits if she read my stuff now. But your stripping down of the excess shows in so many ways, allowing that light to shine out, unblocked by unnecessary and stray thoughts.

    What I have really enjoyed in your work is watching that shift in you – there is a maturity and a focus on the wellness of life. The lightness, the fragility and the bounty of it. You walk the walk. And you are reaping the benefits and rewards of that.

    And hey, thanks for the Tag You’re It on this. I have my work cut out for me on this one, after reading this and I can’t wait to read what Rutabaga and Michelle have to say – two fab writers who I enjoy immensely 🙂

    Paul

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    • Thank you so, so much for your kind words, Paul. I’m speechless, which is rare for a blogger! I love your work and can’t wait to read about your process!

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  9. Add me to the seemingly short list of bloggers who isn’t an aspiring author. I write to see what I think. I agree with you how the comments can help flesh things out too. However it is you do this, keep doing it! I enjoy reading your posts.

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    • Writing is definitely part of my thinking process too. I like the immediacy of blogging and the interaction. While I love reading books, I’ve never had a story of my own that I’ve wanted to lock into staying the same forever. Thanks Debby!

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  10. Karen, you are one of the ‘realist’ writers I know – everything that comes out of your brain stuns me. Your insight is phenomenal, your outlook is completely your own and you obviously have a brilliant mind that ruminates over most everything. You need not be on Oprah to be recognized for the ginormous talent you have.

    Thank you for tagging me – OddlyI, too, do not consider myself a ‘real writer’ either…so writing my post for this blog tour has been a little eye opening for me.

    I love how you described your story telling genre – you do tell stories from the heart. But my favorite story is “Grandma for Dinner” – those bouncy white tennis shoes ~

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You are a story teller even in the way you answered these questions. Loved hearing about you process…I always think it is interesting to hear how other writers work.

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    • Thank you! This was a fun post because I’ve never considered myself a “real” writer but as I answered the questions, I realized that I do actually have a writing process. I like to hear how other writers get where they’re going too. 🙂

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