Entries Tagged as 'Other Musings'

The writing process blog tour: behind the scenes at Jess-On-Thames



Blogging with cats

I am faced with a conundrum. I have been asked to describe my writing process. And I have been asked by the loveliest ever Emma, otherwise known as the Adventuring Kiwi. (You just can’t say no to her, she is that sweet.)

But I’m going to have to divulge that there isn’t any real process.

Not a conscious one. But I am curious to hear how some others approach their writing process, so I will politely ask Annie of Montgomery Fest, Jacintha of Urban Pixxels, Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons and Jerusha from This Red Lipstick if they’d like to take part, either through answering the below questions or by sharing their favorite posts they’ve written in the comments below (so that I may read them again, purely for my own selfish future writing improvement purposes.)

1. What are you working on?

Everything. And by everything, I mean posts on South Africa, Lisbon, London, Brussels and Amsterdam. I’m working on finding my writing style, on being honest and remembering who I am and why I started this blog in the first place (see question 3).

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

I try not to compare to be honest but I love to be complementary. One of my favorite discoveries with blogging has been to experience the same thing as other bloggers but watch the very different ways in which our discoveries appear online. Both in writing and in photography. I love learning from the talented people I’ve met through blogging. In the meantime, if someone has smiled, been inspired to travel or discovered something new by reading this blog, I’m a happy camper.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I started blogging because I hadn’t realised I needed a distraction from the world of Brussels politics where I used to work. I loved my job but realised I didn’t love politics quite as much as most people around me. I needed a creative outlet and a fellow co-worker turned me onto blogging. At first it was just a rather embarrassing curation project of other people’s work I admired but as I grew more confident, I started putting my own thoughts and photography out there. And its been fun to see where it has gone.

Moving to London has upped the ante as there are some serious bloggers in town and so much on offer to explore and engage with. While I still can’t say I’ve chosen a determined direction for the blog (though I would love to delve further into anything travel related), I have found my voice so to speak. I love writing here (which was hard having a talented writer for a mother!) and increasingly, love sharing my photography here (which was hard, having a talented photographer for a brother!)

4. How does your writing process work?

Usually I will mull over an idea for hours in the back of my brain while doing other things, never feeling quite happy with it. And then suddenly the idea will come together and I’ll have to whip the post up all in one go. I don’t have a blogging calendar (though I should). I don’t often compose several drafts, (though I should). I will dwell over the photos.

My posts often start with a picture or a memory, or something funny, touching or poignant that I’ve seen or experienced. Its definitely all anchored in emotions (for better or worse) but I’d like to think that keeps the posts authentic.

The scene? There’s often a cat in my lap and there is usually a Spotify playlist blaring in the background. Like this one – a little bit of everything:

If you have trouble playing the above, try playing on Spotify online.

This week’s observations




Life is just funny sometimes. This week was particularly entertaining. I present you with some observations, in the present perfect* tense:

  • Exhibit A: You still don’t speak like the English. As evidenced when you asked a colleague “How did you find France?” and he thought you were asking him how he physically found it (i.e. using a map) as opposed to what his impressions actually were about it.
  • Exhibit B: Your cats are not as old as you think they are.  As evidenced by the shreds of paper towel you found in the bathtub last night.
  • Exhibit C: You should not touch your face after reading the Metro newspaper in the Tube. As evidenced by the fact you looked like a coal miner when you got home.
  • Exhibit D: You should get more rest on weekends**. As evidenced by the fact that you spent all day yesterday thinking it was Wednesday.
  • Exhibit E: Your world will be crushed when people tell you both Bono and Deborah Messing are “reportedly” prima donas. As evidenced by the fact that you are still recovering because your favorite song in high school was “With or Without You” and you still wish you lived in an episode of “Will & Grace”. (Update: You refuse to believe it.)
  • Exhibit E: Take note of the following: Ken Burns’ New Documentary on the Roosevelts; When Jenna Lyons took over JCrew’s Twitter feed during Fashion Week; Mindy Kaling in 2012; My Drunk Kitchen meets Jamie Oliver; Gilmore Girls on Netflix

*I had to google which tense this was. All those years of English grammar classes…
**This is what blogging looks like when sleep deprived.

In other news, this photo was taken at one of my favorite London summer spots: the sandy banks of Gabriel’s Wharf on the Southbank. You never know what you are going to see when you pass.

When I worry too much



Ice Cream

Sometimes I worry, dear readers.

I worry I’m not quite ready to give the summer up. I worry my roof is leaking (wait, no, that’s a reality.) I worry Amsterdam won’t live up to my expectations when I visit next month. I worry I’m not traveling as much as I want to. I worry I’m a bit too fond of London and a bit less fond of the US these days. I worry that after almost 11 years away from the country I hold a passport to, that I might not really understand it anymore. I worry every time I pick up a newspaper. I worry I might have my priorities messed up. I worry I over-exaggerate. Or that I’m not exaggerating enough. I worry too much.

But then – its silly – I see an old-fashioned ice cream truck outside Hyde Park. I see landmarks that have seen a heck of a lot more worry than I’ll ever worry about. I learn of stories of the world’s loneliest whales and alcoholic vervet monkeys and get out of my self-absorbed human world for a bit. I take a lesson from David Attenborough and think about a world bigger than my ownJon Stewart reminds me that there are still sane Americans out there. I listen to stories of people with incredible strength. And know I’m lucky to have lived in a time when some truly special people were with us.

And I tell myself its OK to worry every once in a while.

And get sappy in a post.

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