Monday, July 21, 2014
Blog Tour: "My Writing Process"
I'm always saying how much I wish the blogging community was more tight-knit, so I am thrilled to join forces with several fellow bloggers for a more intimate blog tour that allows us to share with our readers what inspires us to write. So thank you, Toni at Splash of Tonic for throwing the baton over to me!
Here's how it works: "My Writing Process" asks us four simple questions that encourages us to think about why we write and elaborate more on our writing style. Check it out:
1) What are you working on?
I'm attending screenings, applying for festival press credentials as I prepare an informal content strategy for the fall and winter seasons. I'm always thinking of new commentary to write, as well as reviews. I'm pretty flexible in terms of content. My only ask of myself is that it's something I'm actually passionate about, or can at least put my own spin on. Additionally, I contribute blog posts for Black Girl Nerds and brainstorm topic discussions for my weekly podcast, "Cinema in Noir" (which also inspires many posts on my blog).
2) How does your work differ from others' work in the same genre?
My writing has my voice. I try not to write obligatory posts just to get traffic or just because it's what everyone else is talking about. I add my own opinion and try to approach it in a way that is uniquely my own, so that readers aren't just coming to receive the same information they can get on any other site. I want them to come here because they want to know what I think about this information. I try to be engaging, fun, snarky, but also reflective and thought-provoking. As an avid reader of other blogs, it's important to me that I write in a way that would be interesting to me. I have to enjoy the process, and I can't do that if it feels mandated. I also try to keep the content diverse, and offer opinion pieces that aren't found on other sites (including sociopolitical themes in film and film criticism, TV analysis and foreign cinema).
3) Why do you write what you do?
Because I feel I can't not write about films. About five years ago, I had lost my job as a magazine editor and felt kind of lost. In order to take my mind off things, I went to see a movie that I couldn't stop discussing weeks after I had seen it. I bothered my friends--and everyone else who'd listen--with my theories and perspective on the film. Maybe it was the timing (divine intervention perhaps?), but at that point I realized how much of a film nerd I was (and still am). Then I thought, hey I should write about this--like on a blog or something. I was only going to write the one post and that was it. When I saw the response, and realized how liberated I felt to be able to share what was inside my head I had an a-ha! moment. I realized that I have something to say here, and (bonus points!) people want to actually read about it. I felt the need to get some of the thoughts that have been percolating in my head and expand on them, turn them into discussions with the readers. Writing is not only therapeutic for me, but it's also a way for me to reach people who may also be film nerds, bloggers/critics or casual movie lovers. I don't just write for one type of person, especially since I like a variety of films across many different genres, so I try to cast a wide net and see who identifies with it. Some things I write may resonate with certain people and not others, which I'm okay with. I rather write something and it not get as many hits than to keep it entangled in my brain in silence.This blog is a way for me to ensure that my voice and opinions are not stifled. I write because neither I nor my thoughts exist anywhere else. I have to create them here myself.
4) How does your writing process work?
Often it's as informal as conversations I have with people (either online or in person), or in response to trend pieces I read online. I could have a really great conversation with someone about a movie or a them in Hollywood that will inspire me to expand on the topic or counter the opinion here. Sometimes I react to a particular twitter conversation by bringing it over to the blog and expanding on it (I can better express my thoughts here than with a slim 140 characters. I like to stir conversation, not simply comply with it, and maybe start a new conversation here. Other times, I'll write a film review that is inspired by how the film made me feel, not solely how it is technically (that way it has my stamp on it). Some films make me think of larger stories on which I focus the review, and other films make me feel absolutely nothing--which also compels my opinion. I also receive a number of press releases and other publicity information that may help inspire trend pieces, or even simple matter-of-fact pieces about new releases, press images, etc. If something looks interesting to me, or if I have something to say about it that I haven't seen anyone else say, or I think my readers might be interested in, I share it. It's very fluid.
That's it; short and sweet! I'm passing the baton over to Shala Thomas at Life Between Films and Angelica Jade Bastién at Madwomen and Muses. Shala is a huge supporter of independent film and film festivals, while Angelica is a screenwriter who's passionate about Old Hollywood. I can't wait to learn more about their writing process!