28.6.14

On Writing

I was delighted to be asked by Lucent to join in with this blog hop about writing. As I respect, admire and like Lucent enormously, I was keen to join in. Writing about writing; what could be more fun? Here are my answers to the 4 questions we were set.
What am I working on?
Not much if I am honest! My blog writing has been a little sporadic of late but that is a positive thing because I've been practising what I preach: spending less time online, reading, exercising, gardening and, of course, decluttering. But I am writing a whole lot more than I was two years ago and this is a great achievement and a continual source of joy for me. Writing is my perfect waste of time. Writing is my indulgence and an accessible outlet for my creative urges. Writing enables me to escape and connect at the same time. Writing is a room of my own.
This blog was born through a new found passion in simplifying my life but as a result my love of writing was reborn. Writing was something that I enjoyed as a child and young adult. I wrote stories, poetry, entered essay competitions and I chose English as my degree. Somehow I dropped writing in my twenties and thirties – those busy years of creating a family and career. The last time I wrote for pleasure was during my first pregnancy when I was very disciplined and kept a detailed diary that is hilarious yet beautiful in its naivety.
These days spending hours on text for a blog post is pure indulgence. I constantly strive to be a better writer, to be both spontaneous and polished (well, with as few mistakes as possible). I am beginning to seek new avenues for my writing. Blogging has given me the confidence to tackle new writing projects like producing text for a website and copy for programmes for our local arts organisation. I enjoy writing reviews of festivals. Poetry is another favourite outlet for the words that roam my mind and the emotions that I hold close to my heart. Sometimes I post my poems and they help me to deal with difficult times.
For now the writing opportunities that blogging brings is more than enough for me. I don't schedule my posts much in advance but I do try to keep my writing varied. I was very driven when I first started blogging and posted daily for 6 months but although I post less often now I still have lots of enthusiasm and ideas for moving Just a little less forward.
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?

Just a little less is both a minimalist blog and a lifestyle blog. I know I have a blogging voice (just like I have many other voices) but I hope my writing sounds natural and reflects my values and personality. I think when I write about minimalism I adopt a more ardent style and my writing carries more gravitas. There are many minimalist blogs, especially in the USA, but few are written by married women in their late forties - so I guess that makes me a little different. When I write online I always try to be honest and upbeat and I like to invite readers to comment on their experiences. I often describe Just a little less as a beautiful look at minimalism; my version of minimalism is not too bare and likewise my writing is quite elaborate at times.

Why do I write what I do?

I was inspired to start blogging after 18 months of devouring blogs on minimalism and simple living. I felt it would be worthwhile to record my ideas and progress and that it might give hope to others feeling overwhelmed by cluttered homes, over scheduled lives and that trapped feeling of being a wage slave. My writing has a purpose to inform and inspire others but it also helps to keep me on the simplicity path. Writing my blog is rewarding. I enjoy the creative process, connecting with like minded people, receiving emails and comments from readers and just having a record of this stage of my life.

How does my writing process work?

I usually write whilst sat on the sofa, tip-tapping away on my laptop. I quite like background noise and people around me (except when they peer over the screen). I mostly write in the evenings as I would lose entire days to blogging otherwise. If I have an important or difficult post to write I might start writing it on paper first. Writing comes easily when I write about experiences and projects that I'm working on. I quite like researching new things though, and I'm an avid word collector, grammar nerd and thesaurus user. Often ideas for writing come to me when I'm in flow and involved in a repetitive task such as digging or ironing. Sometimes too many ideas come at once and I have to write them down or I forget them. I edit my writing a lot and try to keep my posts fairly short. I sometimes ask my husband to read my draft copies before publishing. I re-read posts too much before I publish and I always feel a little nervous after they've gone live. Some posts are done in one sitting but I prefer to come back to my writing several times with fresh eyes. I still find mistakes after publishing which I have to correct. I'm writing this post as a Word document first and it seems to be taking ages and it's too long, but sometimes you just have to set limits on a piece of writing and let it be,

Thank you to Lucent, my minimalist loving friend, for the invite. Here's a little more about her.


Around here she’s known as Lucent.. Lucent is a legally blind woman who shares her photographs with a few words of gratitude or a long rambling piece that is definitely not minimalist. She is always honoured when people spend time in her online space and has made special friends through it. She values genuine relationships, travel, good food, photos and experiences the most. She’s completely and utterly in love with her handsome husband, adorable dog and thinks her mum is always the prettiest woman in the room. If you’re her friend you’ll know without a doubt that she treasures you. Lucent appreciates the simple joys and is a resilient optimist taking on life’s challenges with a smile and the occasional tear. At 33 years old she is finally totally smitten with her hair in its natural state and colour – her mum can’t understand what took her so long! Cloudy days make her bounce out of bed even more cheerful than usual, as her eyes relish the gentle light. Autumn is her favourite season. Finding greenery in urban environments makes her quietly congratulate it for its optimism and beam of life through the concrete. She’s an (attempting) sophisticated jeans-woollen jumper-and-loafers city dweller crossed with outdoor boots-waterproof jacket-country woman. Sometimes she struggles with her desire for privacy and the modern expectation of oversharing. She feels she’s lived a couple of lives in her pursuits, but now calls herself a housewife first. But labels don’t define her anyway, pfffft. You will find her seeking out the quiet corners of the cafĂ© with comfortable chairs. Her husband is the one who drinks coffee, she just photographs it. She totally digs hugs, laughs and smiles, and would like to pat your dog please.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed conducting this little interview with myself. I have asked others to join in but I am still awaiting replies. In the meantime if you would like to join in with this please feel welcome. This blog hop has opened new simplifying blog writers to me. If you read Lucent's post you will find links to other like minded people such as Rebecca and Kali. 

Happy writing xo

11 comments:

  1. Hi Claire. It is nice to read about your writing, I very much enjoyed finding out more about you. I have answered the same four questions two weeks ago - it is nice to reflect once in a while on what we do and why we do it. I am hopping over to Lucent's blog now because you have tickled my interest. Have a lovely weekend. Christina x

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  2. Thanks Christina. I enjoyed reading your piece, especially about your writing process, and I've discovered some new reads you've recommended too. Happy weekending too xo

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  3. Hi Claire, I've always thought your writing was very clear and natural. Interesting you sometimes start on paper, I do that too. It is a process and a creative one. I enjoy reading your ideas and thoughts on living with less! X

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    1. Thanks Heather. I use a notebook for ideas and lists too. Lists are great for when you're trying to reduce your possessions!

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  4. I loved reading this post Claire, it's so interesting to hear about other's people's writing processes. I'm much the same, posting in the evening, with noise all around, and I love different words and things too. I always enjoy reading your posts, your writing is always interesting and inspirational.

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    1. Thanks CJ. It's good to know I'm in good company xo

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  5. Thank you so much for agreeing to participate. I was keen to see your answers and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I love that blogging has given you the confidence to pursue writing in other avenues as well. Thank you for your kind words too, my friend! x

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    1. This was so interesting to write and it has given me a fresh perspective on where I'm at with my writing. So thank you so much Lucent xo

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  6. How delightful to read more about your writing processes Claire and to be asked by the lovely !Lucent! Two of my all time favourite bloggers who write so beautifully and give such inspiration. xx

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  7. Thanks Megan for your kind words and for your continued support. I hope your new downsized lifestyle is working out well for you xo

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  8. Your writing is beautiful! I really enjoyed this post. Off to visit Lucent's blog now. x

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Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. Keep in touch xo