My Writing Process Blog Tour

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 31, 2014

**This post was originally scheduled to go up on Monday!**

Last week I was tagged by Kristi to participate in the My Writing Process blog tour. Kristi is a fellow Phoenix blogger who shares my love of books and writing. She’s also an inspiring business owner! Thanks to this blog tour, we’ve realized that we live super close to one another, so I’m looking forward to seeing her more often. :)

The concept sounded like a lot of fun, so I thought I’d take a shot at answering all of the questions. My blogging style – and posting frequency – has definitely changed over the years, but my approach to writing has stayed pretty consistent.

Without further ado…here we go!


1) What am I working on?

Professionally: These days I’m pretty much a freelance writer and editor. Some of my work is similar to what Jill and I did when we ran POP! Social Media, but the majority of my time is spent on more long-form writing, which was my primary goal when I moved down a different path nearly two years ago. Roughly 70 percent of my week is spent working on behalf of clients for a communications company based in Chicago. I love my colleagues and the work I do – it’s interesting and constantly evolving, so every day is a little different.

The rest of the week is split between a social media client – a self-published author also based in Chicago – and a local magazine called ImagesAZ, which I began writing for late last year. It has been really cool to get back into a journalistic role. I’ve covered some interesting people and organizations thus far, and have gotten to know Arizona a little better in the process.

Personally: I still try to blog as often as I can. As you might have been able to tell, my favorite posting topics these days aren’t necessarily food-related. I love writing about the books I read, authors I love, random life happenings…and my nieces pieces!

Finishing the draft of my novel is still something I am actively striving toward, although in all honesty it has been a busier-than-normal year in terms of freelance work (never a bad thing!), so personal writing has taken a bit of a back burner. But the book I began writing several years ago is still on my mind on a daily basis, and I know that eventually there will come a day where I can finally type the words “THE END” on the page. And it will be glorious.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Despite the fact that I began this blog with the intention of writing about food, recipes and fitness, I don’t really think it fits in any one genre, especially nowadays. I think what makes my posts different is probably the fact that they are so miscellaneous (and as a result, sometimes pretty scatterbrained). I’ve never really had an editorial calendar or thought in advance about what I’m going to write about. It was easy to write this way back when I was taking photos of everything I ate, but these days I’ll typically finish a book, try a new restaurant or go on a hike and want to share it with you. I also love blogging about travel. So, yes, I think miscellaneous and scatterbrained are accurate descriptions! Can those count as a genre? :)

3) Why do I write what I do?

The answer to this question is the same as it was more than six years ago:

This blog was created out of a passion for food, nutrition and wellness. It is meant to serve as a place where I can share pieces of my life with you, ranging from food and restaurant reviews to meals, recipes and – when I’m not hungry – fitness and general life ponderings. My goal is to create a gathering of people who can look to each other for answers and advice on anything and everything, whether it be the best way to prepare risotto or the newest bestseller on bookshelves.

4) How does your writing process work?

Typically when I write a post it starts with the photos. If I’m writing about food, travel or general life happenings that means taking the pictures, too. I’m a big fan of Instagram, as you know, and have found it’s a great way to both share and edit pictures at the same time. But for photos that need a bit more work (such as recipes), I either use iPhoto on my computer or Camera+ on mobile devices. Oh how I love the Camera+ app – I used it to edit all of my Europe photos last year.

Once I have the photos ready to go, I typically add them all into the draft and write the post around them. Being able to look at the pictures while I’m writing helps me a lot – I tend to remember even more details, especially about a food or a place.

With book reviews, I look to Goodreads to provide the general synopsis and then write my own review of the book (often going on tangents). I try to do it as soon after finishing the novels as possible so that the specific plot points don’t become too hazy.

From the time I decide to write a post to the time I hit publish, I’d estimate it can take anywhere from two to four hours. The difference depends on the number of photos and what I’m describing. It doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a grammar perfectionist who has to edit what I write multiple times. It also doesn’t help that I am big on how things look from a spatial perspective. For example, when paragraphs have one or two words carry over, I like to figure out how to shorten them up. (Of course, this really only ends up looking better in the specific browser I use…) I hope I’m not alone in that one, otherwise you just learned that I’m an even bigger nerd than you thought. 😉


That’s pretty much all there is to it! It was fun to share a bit more about my writing process. Big thanks again to Kristi for tagging me. Now it’s time to ask more bloggers to join in:

Nicole is my book club co-creator, mind twin (we often think alike!) and the first non-family member to welcome me to Arizona. She has become a close friend and I look forward to hearing more about her writing process for her fantastic blog, The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie. If you haven’t read it already, you’ll love her mouthwatering recipe photos and fun “Currently” posts.

Ari is another book clubber and amazing friend I met soon after moving to Phoenix, and she blogs at Ari’s Menu. Both her and Nicole will motivate you with their fitness adventures and Drink & Dish video blog series. In addition, Ari is an awesome food photographer and recipe creator with an inspiring story. I feel very lucky to have met these great ladies who also happen to be bloggers!

Melissa and I go way back to the early days of blogging. Since then, we’ve met up for conferences, races and just for fun. This lady and I have been through a lot together and I am so thankful for her friendship! What I love most about her blog, Trying to Heal, is her passion for sharing her personal journey, not to mention her love of birds and fitness (she is so speedy)!

You? I always like to offer these types of posts up to anyone reading. If you want to share more about your writing process, consider this an official tag!

Can’t wait to hear from all of you!



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristi @ lifesprinkles May 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Loved this little sneak peek into your writing process, Jenn! I somehow completely missed that you were writing a novel! We definitely need to chat about this when we get together!
Kristi @ lifesprinkles recently posted..How I Force Myself to GrowMy Profile


2 Jenn (eating bender) June 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

Thanks, Kristi! It’s been an on-again, off-again process for a few years, but something I’ve always hoped to be able to accomplish. Look forward to getting together soon!


3 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner June 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

I love the mixture of posts you do. Food, book reviews, restaurant reviews, movies…it’s a great mix! I love seeing what other people in the world are up to.
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Scenes from the WeekendMy Profile


4 Jenn (eating bender) June 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

Thank you so much, Chelsea! I feel the same way about your posts. :)


5 Megan (Braise The Roof) June 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

First, I’m so happy that work is going well for you! I imagine freelancing has it’s challenging moments, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job of managing it. Also, you convinced me to buy Camera+. :)


6 Jenn (eating bender) June 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

Thank you, Megan! It’s definitely crazy at times but I wouldn’t trade it. And I’m so glad I convinced you to try Camera+ – you’ll have to let me know what you think! :)


7 Susan June 4, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Thanks for sharing these insights about your writing process. I, too, like to see what kinds of stories come from my photos. Oh, and I share your concern re: orphans ( I also keep a window open to help me avoid repetition. :) Nerds unite!! haha


8 Jenn (eating bender) June 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

I knew we’d be similar in our processes! :) Yes, the dreaded widows and orphans. I also cringe every time I see them with work stuff that people send me, but I can’t admit that or they may think I’m crazy…haha. And is one of my best writing friends, too!


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