I’ve been tagged to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour, where writers talk about their process, what makes them tick, and what keeps them going. There’s nothing we writers like more than talking about ourselves, so I was quick to say yes to Susan Pridmore, aka The Wimpy Vegetarian, when she asked if she could tag me. Susan writes a beautiful and funny blog, and her forays into near-vegetarianism are deliciously entertaining. See below for my answers to the questions, and my three nominees.
The Four Questions:
1. What am I working on?
My next book will be an 8-Week Guide to the Migraine and Headache Diet (title TBD). I’ve written the 8-Week curriculum and have my second group of people going through the program to test it. I’ve started work on the book proposal, with the goal of presenting it to agents by early next year. On the blog, I’ve scaled back my posting to twice weekly with an occasional post on Fridays. This helps give me time to work on the book and the program, do the research, and develop recipes. I plan on speaking professionally about how to change your diet for health reasons.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I started this blog after watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, with the goal of helping people by sharing my healthy recipes. Over time, my focus has honed in on teaching people they can still eat beautifully, even if they have to be on a special diet for health reasons.
I seem to be the only migraine-diet blogger, certainly the only one who is also low-sodium and eating paleo and sugar-free! I always focus on how I changed the recipe, to help people understand the process behind recipe renovation, so they can feel more comfortable experimenting with their own recipes.
I also write regular cookbook reviews, which I enjoy and I hope helps people make great choices when buying cookbooks. I do so despite my dislike for trendy sans serif fonts, which are the bane of my existence. I yearn for the day when designers move to a more user-friendly style.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Having to change your diet for health reasons is hard, upsetting, and can be both frustrating and depressing. Most people give up. Doctors call them “non-compliant.” But I believe that most people genuinely do want to be well, they just don’t know how to make a change that big. I hope that by shedding light on the process, creating beautiful food, and developing a plan that’s do-able over a set period of time, more people can find success and feel well.
4. How does my writing process work?
I have an editorial calendar that has helped me immensely in planning. I eat seasonally, plan ahead for holidays, and get inspired by food magazines as well. Possible posts go onto Post-its, vertically on the possible date, then horizontally when the post is completed. That way I can see what needs to be done, and move things around as needed.
I always have files of “Made once”, “To renovate”, “Up next” in the drawer, so I am never stuck for ideas. For the cookbook reviews, I try to group like titles together for a month, so that a winner will be happy to receive all of them in the monthly drawing. And I try to pair cookbooks with the seasons as well; featuring holiday cookbooks in the fall and summer cookbooks at this time of year.
Each post gets drafted, then re-read and polished two or three times before it goes live. I usually have 3-6 posts in the queue. Sometimes I’ll make and shoot a seasonal recipe and it will be too late to fit it in that year, so it will sit in the queue for a year before it gets posted. Right now there are Dia de los Muertos cookies and a fall pie in the queue from last year.
If you have more questions about my blog, my writing process, or anything else, I’d love to answer them in the comments!
I have tagged the following writers as the next stops on the tour:
Emily Clifton: Nerds with Knives. I met Emily online when I attended a food photography and styling course at CreativeLive online. Smart and funny, I love her blog. Who wouldn’t love a blog called Nerds with Knives?
Laura Plumb: Food, A Love Story. I know Laura in person through the local yoga community. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner, amazing yogini, and an incredible person. Her food is simply filled with love. Enjoy.
Kirsten Wasson: Lost and Laughing in LA. I met Kirsten at a writers’ workshop in LA through Vicki Abelson’s Women Who Write. We bonded over upstate New York, juicing, and a few other items. Kirsten has a wry sense of humor and an acerbic take on LA life that’s wonderful to read. Check her out. You’re welcome.