Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Girl On The Train | My Creative Blogging Process

Though my choice of blog title was inspired by the book, this post has nothing to do with the psychological thriller written by Paula Hawkins. 

Since moving to San Jose, my morning train commute to the office has increased from 6 minutes to 41 minutes. Before, I wouldn't even sit down after boarding the train, because I'd get off at the next stop. In fact, once a train conductor asked if I was germaphobic and afraid of the seats, because he'd watch me board and stand between the same two cars Monday through Friday. #TRUESTORY 

With my new and much longer train commute, upon boarding, I sit in the first empty seat I can find, pull out my iPhone, and start writing mercilessly. 

Stream Of Consciousness
I'm a morning person. From the moment I wake up, a vast number of mundane to philosophical thoughts run through my head. I do my very best to take note of anything and everything that could potentially be my next creative venture. 

Using the Notes app on my phone, I list out thoughts and ideas as they come to my mind. I even add succinct writing prompts for the various topics to hopefully get me started once I've settled on my focus. Nothing is off limits as I let my thoughts endlessly flow out of my brain. I actually have quite a lot of weird and inappropriate topics that will probably never be expanded on enough to be published. 

Once a specific topic jumps out above the rest, I break down my writing prompt into sections that I want to touch base upon. Then, I begin writing the main body, expanding on each subsection and jumping around as my thoughts change direction. 

I may start out writing about a new restaurant that I tried with a friend, but I'll end up going off on a tangent surrounding a specific conversation we had over dinner. Sometimes a tangent can begin to overpower my original focus, because I never know where my thoughts will take me. When this happens, I stop and re-evaluate. What point am I trying to make? Am I clearly getting that point across? Am I confusing my reader? 

After expanding as much as I can on my morning and afternoon train commutes, I email my first draft to myself. I copy and paste my writing to finish on a computer. I read through what I've created so far and begin to re-organize and remove any unnecessary fluff. Sometimes I re-iterate the same ideas to the point of exhaustion, or I realize my thoughts have no structure, making the entire post difficult to follow. 

This is also when I do my best to catch any grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. I read and edit my work until my brain is exhausted, and I'm ready to schedule it for publishing. 

Publish or Trash 
This is generally how my creative blogging process works. But more often than not, in the days leading up to publishing, I continue to read and reflect on what I've created. Sometimes my sentiment towards my work will change, or I'll write something else that I'm more excited to share with you guys. When I'm not entirely satisfied with my final draft, I'm not afraid of deleting everything I've already written and completely starting over. 

I think it's important to truly love and believe in what you've created, and that's what makes being creative so difficult at times. If you know that you can produce something more meaningful, you shouldn't hesitate to start from scratch. I've learned that every new beginning is an opportunity to grow, learn, and improve. 

My favorite quote by Albert Einstein is "Creativity is intelligence having fun." I thrive on my ability to express myself through creativity. Creative self-expression liberates and empowers me. I'm not afraid to think and dream. I will continue to embrace my thoughts and imagine my future filled with infinite possibilities.