What inspires me to share with you each day on the Flour Sack Mama blog? My colleague Micaela Preston, author of the book Practically Green and founder of the Mindful Momma blog, invited me to join in this My Writing Process blog tour.
When I was still knee deep in diaper changing, breastfeeding babies and sleepless nights, having devoted myself to being a stay-at-home parent, Micaela already had natural parenting all figured out. She even wrote the book on it, after all. So, I’m a bit intimidated by the challenge to open up about why and how I produce this blog with the title “mama” right there in the title. But, I’ll give it a try.
At the Flour Sack Mama blog we focus on “carrying on the best of Grandma’s traditions; improving on what we know better.” I sometimes produce content on similar natural living topics as Mindful Momma, but with a slightly different flavor.
Let’s delve into the questions posed on this blog tour, shall we?
What are you working on?
I’m working on reorganizing my desk at the moment, because I always have an endless list of stories I’m covering, updating or hoping to work on.
For weekends this spring and summer, I’m producing a series simply called Saturdays in the Garden with FlourSackMama.com, which follows my family’s efforts once again to grow some of our own food in our little organic garden. Along the way I interview experts, share tips and post at least a few gorgeous photos of our organic bounty.
I’m also planning a summer series called Green Goes Mainstream and delving into the ways our lives have gotten greener by necessity.
I always have a range of projects in mind. Which ones are feasible depends on how much time I’m able to devote and the enthusiasm level of sponsors.
How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
I didn’t even realize for the longest time that my blog was considered a “green” blog, although I’ll gratefully accept that label. I started Flour Sack Mama as a tribute to my grandmother who stitched quilts and clothing from flour sack or feed sack fabrics, honoring her creativity in making something out of nothing during the Great Depression. I wanted to explore how many of us are embracing simpler living these days, inspired by our grandmothers and mothers. My childhood growing up on a family farm in the Ozarks is relevant to this understanding of the simple life. This simple living, common sense approach makes my blog very accessible to any audience, even those who never considered themselves “green.”
My training is as a broadcast journalist, previously producing local tv newscasts in the day before the internet became the news source of choice. For this reason, you’ll find a lot of originally produced news content on my website. I’m comfortable interviewing the next-door-neighbors or the world’s leading expert on something. Where I’ve matured over the years is in my understanding that it’s alright to be a professional journalist AND advocate for some things like clean air, real food and safe consumer products.
Why do you write what you do?
I write about topics that affect everyone’s lives and particularly the future of our children, because I must. I could have picked any niche to blog about, and some might be more popular than the one that chose me. Yet, everyday decisions like to what to feed my family, how to help slow climate change or even how to find happiness in simple living are what seem to affect us most profoundly.
So, I must write about these things. After my mother died from cancer, I noticed all of the younger mothers dying from cancer, too; and then I realized how many children were struggling with this chronic disease that is on the rise. It’s a profound shift in thinking to understand that we can make everyday choices to avoid at least some of the destructive, disease-causing substances our parents’ generation was exposed to.
I write because bloggers of my generation can be a bridge between heritage (good and bad) and hope for the future.
How does your writing process work?
I write about the big topics of our day, bringing you summaries and expert interviews about the latest information on greener living.
Often the best way to convey a message is through a story featuring an individual’s life, so I bring new feature stories to the blog whenever I can.
Sometimes I’m asked to write through the lens of my individual perspective, and so I reluctantly bare some raw emotion to share that, as well.
I appreciate the power of words, both written and spoken. I’m enamored by photography, constantly longing to improve what I bring you visually. I love working in radio and have experience in video. Ideally, many of these pieces come together along with the surprising new component of social media. Whether more is more or less is more depends on the situation. At the end of the day, I just strive to produce you great content. If I’m lucky, you show up to see it. If you’re lucky, it enriches your life.
I don’t mean to be coy in dodging this question. Asking how a writer writes feels to me like asking how a singer sings or a dancer dances or a runner runs.
Here are some details I shared about blogging in a recent Actionista webinar I presented for Women’s Voices for the Earth.
Thanks to Micaela at Mindful Momma for inviting me along on this somewhat introspective journey.
Delightfully Southern blogger Jamie Miles of South Main Muse has agreed to share about her writing process next week, so be sure to watch for her post there on May 26. Jamie self-identifies as “writer, wife, mother and turtle wrangler,” so you need to cozy up to her front porch and find out that that’s all about!
We’ll also have the chance to go behind the scenes of the So Easy Being Green blog with Lindsey. She blogs about cloth diapers and much more while networking with other mom bloggers. Be sure to watch for her post as well on May 26!