Often times, we hear News stories and say, "huh, that's interesting," or, "I'm glad that wasn't me/someone I know!" But, sometimes, we see a story on the News and say, "Oh my god, I know that person." Remember that story bopping around last year about the Breast Cancer Time Lapse Video? That isn't just a video to me, that's my former House Momma, and Resident Advisor, Emily Helck.
When I was a freshman in college, I got pretty much the worst housing pick for my sophomore year. My two friends and I decided to take a stab at applying to a "theme house" (sort of like a frat/sorority, except that we educated the campus on a theme, ran events, etc). We decided on Asia Tree House...why? Well, we heard it had openings, and it was located in a house, instead of a dorm. We applied, and we all got in. At the time we applied, the House Advisor was Emily Helck. Emily was part of a group of older girls whom I always referred to as the "cool older sisters I never had." They had cool haircuts, they wore slacks with t-shirts, they were smart, sassy, and fun. More importantly, they took me under their wing and made me, a chubby 19 year old with too thin eyebrows, feel awesome. Emily went on to become the Resident Advisor for the housing unit, and then graduated the next year. But, I never forgot her. See, Emily paved the way for me to become the House Advisor my senior year, which led me into teaching. Which, obviously, has changed my world.
And then I saw a photo of Emily through a friend's Facebook and she had no hair. I messaged a friend, who let me know that the 28 year old Emily had been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy. My heart just broke. Life isn't fair, is it? Especially because Emily's husband had already undergone a bout with cancer...ugh. But, I also knew that if anyone was going to attack cancer, it would be Emily. She's an amazing artist, creative spirit, and a brilliant writer. In fact, I highly recommend checking out her sometimes hard-to-read, mostly funny, and very real blog, The Real Tumors of New Jersey. You can also check out her writing on The Huffington Post.
Recently, she had an open call for questions about having cancer, and I asked...and she answered. Her answer is real, raw, honest, and quite surprising (for a nervous Nellie, like I am!).
Anyway, Emily is one of my heroes, and I am proud to say she is not only a friend, but an inspiration. Not only is Emily inspiring as a person, but as a writer. Which is why I was so excited when Emily invited me to join in the "My Writing Process Blog Tour," which is a really fun way to see how different bloggers approach the thought-development and writing process.
So, here goes my Writing Process:
1. What Am I Currently Working On?
Currently I have a ton of projects brewing! I'm a contributing writer for Rookie Moms, Hint Mama, and Long Island Mamas, so I have upcoming posts to work on for all of them. I need to do my weekly challenge for Rookie Moms, I have a fun hint I'm working on about small space playrooms for Hint Mama, and I'm doing some really exciting recipe posts for busy moms for Long Island Mamas. As for my own writing, I'm putting together some posts on how amazing genetics and ancestry are; I love that when I look at my son there is a huge amount of history and people in those eyes. I'm excited to share some new one-pot recipes coming up, as well as budget living tips, too!
2. How Does My Work Differ From Others?
I think my work differs from other bloggers because it is honest and raw. I've written about the challenge of being a new mom, being a working mom, a paleo mom, and all the craziness that ensues. I am a big proponent of moms helping moms, and lifting each other up, so I tend to write a lot about that.
3. Why Do I Write What I Write?
We're living in an age of everyone having an online persona; I decided early on that I wanted my persona to be me, myself, and I. Olivia in the Real Life, not the online life. So, I write what happens in my daily life, I write what comes to my mind, and I write what I want people to hear and see. Writing is my outlet, I can viscerally feel it in my bones when a post needs to be written.
4. How Does My Writing Process Work?
Most of my posts are formed while I'm rocking my baby to sleep. The lights are out, the sleep sheep is humming, and I just let myself dream. After I get some thoughts together, the words start to form, but sometimes it isn't until weeks later that I actually write them down! Then, I sit down, and usually it all spills out at once. I edit, and then hit publish! Gotta be quick with the little one crawling around like crazy.
Now, here's the fun part: I've invited three bloggers who will be sharing their writing process next Monday on their blogs (and they will be "tagging" bloggers to write about their process, too)!
Liza Talusan, an past teacher and mentor, blogs over at Marathon B4 Mastectomy about being BRCA+, family life, motherhood, life/work balance...and oh yeah, running! She's a fantastic writer, and more often than not an inspiration to my daily life (as is her amazing daughter, Joli!). I'm very interested to see what Liza has to say about her writing process, as often her posts are beautifully woven stories, with deep life messages hidden between the lines.
I've known Allie since before I can remember, as we both attended private school together for over ten years. Funnily enough though, we didn't talk much at all in school, and it's only been in the last few years that we've become pen pals, of sorts. Allie has an amazingly funny, raw, and moving blog about fitness, Crossfit and food...but mostly, it's about achieving your goals. She's an inspirational (and terribly funny!) blogger, so check out In Shape Out Of Mind.
And lastly, I had to include one of my favorite mom bloggers in this list! Kristin blogs over at The Mommy Project, all about her Rookie Mom challenges, being a new mom, and all about living in San Diego! I keep telling her one of these days I'm packing up Weston for a trip to see her and her daughter Blake, so she better be ready! I love Kristin's views on being a new mom, and read her blog on a daily basis.