May 5th, 2014

Sticky Notes, Toilet Paper and Writing

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Groovy Green Livin Sticky Notes and My Writing Process

The ideas never come to me when they should. Sticky notes are everywhere and I never remember their intended order.

When I write a blog post the final piece somehow ends up organized, but certainly doesn’t start off that way. There are nights when ideas hit and are preserved in a dark bathroom on a single piece of toilet paper or on a stray sticky note by the side of my bed.

Running also seems to bring on random ideas for articles. They come fast and furiously once I’m in a running groove. The problem is there’s no toilet paper or sticky notes-just me and my forgetful brain, trying desperately to remember each and every idea for 6 miles. Many are lost by the second mile.

I share this with you because I’ve been invited to participate in a blog tour called “My Writing Process“. Thanks to my lovely friend, Maggie, the author of the fabulous blog Maternal Dementia, for reaching out to me and asking me to join.  Maggie writes about motherhood from the heart and everything that goes along with it. Her honesty and eloquent writing style is refreshing and always welcome in my world. She has given her family adorable pen names such as De-facto for her darling partner and Short-pants and Buddy-roo for her beautiful daughters. Maggie and her family lived for many years in Paris (where I last saw her) and have now made the move to Barcelona. I’ve known Maggie for quite sometime and am honored to call her a friend on-line and in real life.

As part of the blog tour I’ve been asked to answer 4 questions about my writing process.

What are you working on?

This was probably the most challenging of the questions to answer since my work changes daily. This is also what I love most about my career change.  There’s certainly no room for boredom. Right now I’m working on finding time to write my book. I just can’t find the time. Or is it that I won’t make the time? While struggling with this,  I’ve also taken on quite a few clients for various exciting projects. Stay tuned for more details.

How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?

Many writers bring a unique and powerful voice to the blogging world. I feel very fortunate to be part of a strong and passionate group of bloggers that write about green living. Each of us is unique, and the green living umbrella is wide providing space for many of us. I’ve been saying for quite sometime that our collective voices are what can and will make a difference. When we join our unique voices together and write about similar topics we show a united front. The issues we tackle are real – climate change, product and food safety, GMOs, keeping our families safe and healthy -these are issues that affect each of us in many ways.

Why do you write what you do?

After practicing law for many years, I realized that I had outgrown the fast paced and stressful lifestyle. My body and health were starting to show signs that it was time for a change.  I slowly shifted my focus towards a creating a green and clean lifestyle and began to educate myself about chemicals and other toxins that were going into and on my body. I was amazed at what I found as I continued to dig. A few years later, two of our children developed life threatening food allergies.  My commitment to living as toxin-free as possible became even stronger as a way to gain some control over their allergies. Blogging offered a venue to share information and connect with others interested in a green lifestyle. When my youngest went off to Kindergarten I decided to trade in my suits and focus on writing.  I was inspired and continue to be inspired by the incredible community of like-minded people I have found. Blogging has provided me with a space to find a voice that I didn’t know I had and an opportunity to stand beside many remarkable people who are making a difference.

How does your writing process work? Sticky notes and more.

Over the few, short years that I’ve been blogging there’s actually a writing process that takes place before each post is published.  In addition to the sticky notes, toilet paper and random running thoughts, I try to settle on a topic the night before. Finding the perfect photo takes up a good chunk of time. When I write I use my laptop and carve out time to write without social media distractions. After I’m finished I don’t hit publish. I let the post sit and then go back and read it with fresh eyes. I’m almost guaranteed to find a few errors that would have otherwise not been caught. Once published it doesn’t stop there. The post is shared throughout social media- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest. I also have a weekly newsletter used to share my writing and other special offers with subscribers.

My last task was to find two bloggers to join the blog tour and share stories about our writing processes. 

Micaela from Mindful Momma will be joining on Monday, May 12th. I’ve known Micaela for quite sometime. She was one of the first bloggers I connected with online before I launched my blog. I’ll never forget her wise advice: “Write from your heart”. After connecting we discovered that we both grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, went to the same high school and graduated a year apart. We are certainly proof that it’s a small world out there.

Lindsay Dahl will also be participating. Lindsay is the Deputy Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the founder of  LindsayDahl.com. I’ve been working with Lindsay for many years on various projects fighting for the health and safety of our families including the Stroller Brigade and the Mind the Store campaigns. She is an amazing leader, advocate and friend.

Feel free to follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #mywritingprocess.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by.

Do you have your own writing process?

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

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15 Responses to “Sticky Notes, Toilet Paper and Writing”

  1. Sweet post Lori! I think it’s really helpful to take the time to sit and think about why we do what we do…which reminds me, I need to do that to prepare for my post next week!

  2. I’m fascinated to see what other people’s writing processes look like, thanks for sharing! Excited to write mine for next week.
    Lindsay recently posted..Paul Jarvis asks writers to be present for their inner museMy Profile

  3. Such a fun post. I use an academic planner for my posts. At the end of each month I put a post a topic for each day of the month on my calendar. I sometimes draft notes on the daily part for the post for that day. I brainstorm ideas there. At the end of each month I go back and circle all the ideas I did not finish and save them for another day. I have over 200, not perfect for publishing blog posts in my drafts :(
    Leigh recently posted..What Is Real Food?My Profile

  4. Thanks for sharing your process, Lori. It’s so nice to learn about how others go about writing. My posts are often pieces on different papers and then I take pics of them before I recycle the paper :)

  5. Thanks Sara. I’m laughing because my “writing process” has evolved into a disorganized mess! I love your idea to take a photo of your papers-easy way to get rid of the sticky notes everywhere!

  6. Do you write every day Leigh? I know you write a lot, but now I’m very impressed! Great idea to use an academic planner so you have everything in one spot. I also use COZI, an online calendar, just for my editorial schedule. I have probably close to 200 posts in draft form too!

  7. Can’t wait to see your post Lindsay!

  8. I was surprised at how challenging it was for me to write this post Micaela. You’re right-it’s so important to think about why we’re doing what we’re doing every so often. Looking forward to seeing your post.

  9. Always a good idea to let your writing sit a while and come back and look with fresh eyes. I tend to make a few edits after publishing and before my email goes out : ) Fun to read more about your transition from lawyer to green blogger/ activist.
    Betsy (Eco-novice) recently posted..Ten Tips for a Terrific StaycationMy Profile

  10. That happens to me too Betsy. I usually wake up in the middle of the night and realize I forgot to include something!

  11. […] my friend Lori Alper from Groovy Green Livin asked if I wanted to participate in a writing prompt exercise on the topic, I quickly agreed. You […]

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post and Lindsay’s- what a good topic! And I love your comments about sticky notes, toilet paper, and running….because I do the same thing (and haven’t talked to anyone else who does). When I was working on my biggest writing project yet, I ended up with an entire desk drawer full of sticky notes and I started carrying a tiny notebook on runs and hikes :-)

  13. […] My good friend Lori from Groovy Green Livin invited me on the tour. Her post last week about sticky notes and toilet paper was fun to read and very insightful. What does toilet paper have to do with writing? Find […]

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this peek into your writing process. I love what you said about the big green umbrella, and I totally agree! Someone asked me once who my blogging competition was, but I don’t think of other green or vegan blogs that way. We’re a community of like-minded people supporting each other.
    Becky Striepe recently posted..Coconut Tofu with Maple-Sriracha Dipping SauceMy Profile

  15. Thanks so much for your comment Becky. I couldn’t agree more. We’re all in this together.

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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