Blog Hop: Why I write

My friend Emma at MabisMab tagged me to take part in the Why I Write Blog Hop. Started by Katy at Folly and Bloom, the aim of this blog hop is to find out more about bloggers and what makes them tick!

Blog hop: why I writeSo without further ado, let’s get cracking!

Why do I write?

I’ve always been a writer. English was my best subject at school and then I went on to study English and Drama at university, before ending up working as a Deputy Editor.

After my first daughter was born, the plan was for me to become a stay at home mum. But unfortunately I developed postnatal anxiety. At that time, blogging helped me cope. It helped me to have an identity of my own and to do something I knew I was good at – writing – away from what I felt at the time was my failure to be a good parent.

I’m now recovered and my husband and I have swapped roles. He’s the primary caregiver for our two children and I’ve gone back to work. But blogging is still therapeutic for me. It’s a safe space where I can talk about what I want to talk about, not just what I think people want to hear.

What am I working on?

As well as keeping up with and reviewing fantasy fiction, I’m working on a couple of series features for the blog.

There are an increasing nuber of plus size fashion bloggers out there, but I think there’s still a lack of kind, comprehensive advice aimed at helping plus size women to shop with confidence and to embrace their own individual style. So I’m working on the Plus size style: essential A/W 14 guide.

Instead of saying “Wear this, wear that”, I’ll be looking at some of the trends out at theplum to dusk - softer paler shades that are easy to wear moment and deconstructing them. For example, instead of saying “punk is in, you must buy a red tartan swing dress” it’s more about saying “ok, punk is in. Lets break down the elements and see if they work for you.” So maybe you’re comfortable wearing that dress. Or maybe you decide that although you like tartan, you prefer shades of grey and charcoal and are more of a jeans and t-shirt girl. So you decide to look for a black t-shirt with grey tartan patterned sleeves.

It’s about finding your style, feeling confident. Not being so focused on the aesthetics. If you feel good, if you feel comfortable, then you’ll naturally look good. No matter what your size or shape.

The other series I’m working on right now will probably make everybody groan as it involves writing about Christmas in September! I’m always on a tight budget, but I have a large extended family, so having to produce gifts for up to 35 people each year was always a struggle. Until I hit upon making food hampers for each family group instead of individual gifts. I’ve been doing it now for about ten years – refining the process each time until I think I have a pretty good system worked out.

So with the Planning the perfect Christmas hamper series, I decided it was time to share my tips. Hopefully  my readers can benefit from the lessons I learned along the way and save time and money by getting it right first time!

Away from the blog I’ve also been spending a lot of time over the past 12-18 months doing free online courses through Coursera. And I’ve just finished a stint as a volunteer Community TA (like a forum moderator/admin) on Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative, a course that looks at storytelling and how it changes across different media. Having taken the course myself last year, and written the essays and even had a go at making my first video essay, it’s fascinating to see it from the other side. I’ve also met some amazing, talented people through the course.

How does it differ from others of its genre?

There are a lot of blogs covering the four Fs out there? I suppose the blog doesn’t really fit into a single genre. Sure, there are posts about cooking, but it’s not a food blog. There are book reviews but it’s not a book blog. The blog itself is named after my Twitter persona, so I suppose that’s the thing that really makes it different. Although it’s me writing it, sometimes I feel like I’m writing as Dorris, in character. And Dorris is a lot more opinionated and forthright than I am. I suppose it lets me exercise my bossy side!

How does my writing process work?

I’ve tried a few methods over the years. The challenge for me has always been capturing the strong feelings and arguments I develop about a topic or issue before they fade and I get distracted by the next thing. I can be quite flighty!

What seems to be working at the moment is keeping a notebook and a nice, proper ink pen (biro just isn’t the same!) in my handbag at all times. Then when an idea strikes at the bus stop, I can scribble it down to work with later. Though I occasionally type posts straight into the blog from my head, I find that writing this way sometimes makes my posts sound a little bit clinical. So I usually plan my posts in my trusty notebook first, or even write whole posts out in longhand (like I did with this one!)

Bus journeys are the best writing place for me. It limits the number of distractions I have access to, and the anonymity – that you could be anyone, thinking anything, living any life at all, tends to help spark my imagination.

 

Thanks for tagging me, Emma! So who’s next?

I’m going to tag Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost & Found because she writes unicorn-tastic YA book reviews and has impeccable taste in movies (ie Labyrinth). I’m also tagging Steven, who’s been making an intriguing transition from food blogging to photoblogging the culture of Japan over at Made By You and I.

Ready, steady, go!

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I love all things fantasy, from fiction to films to games. Mostly books though. I also love cooking and plus size fashion. Find recommendations for great fantasy reads and general fangirling here! If you want to get in touch with me, the quickest way is by Twitter @dorristheloris

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3 comments on “Blog Hop: Why I write
  1. lipsyy says:

    Yay! Thanks for tagging me. Sorry for being so slow, but I’ll get my post ready over the weekend. I’m always interested in reading about other’s inspiration for writing, so hopefully I’ll do the topic justice! 🙂

  2. […] and the aim is to find out more about bloggers and what makes them tick. I was tagged by the lovely Dorristhelorris – many […]

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