Newton: We were invited to participate in the My Writing Process blog tour by the kitties of The Cat on my Head (and their human, Janet). They have been blogging since July of 2012, and one of the really fun things about visiting their site is reading the their sidebar. You don’t read sidebars often, but they used to have original poetry there, and now they feature tales from the cat scouts. It’s a fun bonus to keeping up with Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, and Calista Jo.
The blog tour asks you to answer a series of questions, so I had better get started!
What am I Working On?
The most time-consuming posts for the blog are Topical Thursday posts, since they usually require research. I often have one or two of them in draft form and try to have at least one ready to go. At the moment, I’m gathering photos for a draft about alternative litterboxes and finishing photo edits for a blog post about a visit to Big Cat Rescue last week.
I’m also working on getting more familiar with our local rescue community to better locate the special needs cats in our area to be featured as adorable adoptables. Rescuing Ashton made me realize how many less-adoptable cats were out there, and they all deserve to be part of families the way she is. The local cat rescue community isn’t very cohesive, so this is an ongoing challenge.
Additionally, I’m working on some research for a (non-cat-related!) urban fantasy novel that I may draft during this November’s NaNoWriMo event. I have a rough draft of another completed, but unlike a lot of writers, I write novels because I enjoy the process, not because I want to publish them. Yes, I write novels for fun. That probably defines a writer!
How Does My Writing Process Work?
I keep a list of potential Topical Thursday subjects in a couple places… some are on my phone in the Notesy app, which replicate to my PC using Dropbox. Others are in text files in a designated folder on my PC, which is backed up to Dropbox so that I can access it anywhere. I sometimes begin drafting topics in Notesy on my phone so I have a head start before I sit down if I find time when I’m away from the PC. Otherwise, I sit down at the computer and write up the topical post, then go hunting for relevant photos.
My process for writing most other posts about the cats is the opposite. I take a ton of photos, then go through a folder of raw photos to find the ones that can help tell a story… then it’s just a matter of helping the story along with some dialogue or narrative.
Unlike a lot of other folks these days who use laptops exclusively, I do my work primarily at a desktop computer. I have a geeky background in gaming where desktops are preferred for their graphics processing power, and though I don’t have time to play games on the computer any more, I stick to some of the workflows on the bigger PC. One of the things I use a lot is multiple monitors. I usually write on my left screen and edit photos on the right screen. This has the bonus effect of making it harder for Pierre to stand completely in front of all of my monitor space when I absolutely need to get something done.
Pierre: I heard that!
The blog is currently publishing Monday through Friday, and I try to have the week’s post queued up by Sunday night so that I can work on other things and find time to visit everyone else’s blogs during the week. I use a WordPress plugin that displays a little calendar and marks the dates that have future posts. It’s very satisfying to see a week’s worth of day’s marked off ahead of time, and I had no idea how much of a relief it would be to not scramble for a new post nightly.
Why Do I Write What I Do?
I’m a writer. I have been writing most of my life, and I have written professionally for many years. But my professional writing is boring, technical stuff, not anything you would be interested in reading here!
I started writing Topical Thursdays features in part because it seems like among my friends, I’m the one that everyone comes to when they have a cat question. I realized that I end up knowing things about cats that others don’t simply because I read about them. I’m not an expert about anything about cats, but I like consolidating the information I know and gathering new facts to complete the picture. Occasionally, a Topical Thursday post goes live, and I have second thoughts, afraid that the content is totally obvious. When that happens, inevitably someone who I respect comments that they didn’t know about whatever it was. That really makes me glad I spend the time writing those posts.
For the rest of the blog, I post about the cats and their interactions because they’re in charge and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Pierre: Weren’t you supposed to be writing? I don’t even see a rough draft here.
Newton: No peeking!
Newton: The last part of the blog tour rules is that we are supposed to pass this on to three other writers. The problem is that I was lurking in the kitchen for treats instead of keeping track of who has already done the tour. So if no one has invited you yet, please consider yourself invited by me!