Blog Tour 2014: Oh The Places We’ll Go!

I am just back from what amounts to a two-week vacation from this blog, and what an amazing welcome back present I’ve received… the opportunity to participate in what is being described as a “blog tour.”  So first, a heartfelt thanks to Kristen, the incredibly talented, Freshly Pressed author of the blog ByeByeBeer.  Kristen is the closest thing I have to a celebrity friend.  She is a celebrity because she is Freshly Pressed, and has been a guest on The Bubble Hour.  She is my friend because she is a wise, compassionate, interesting human being, as well as a supreme motivator for me to keep in shape between our 5K’s (and speaking of which, Kristen, time to start scaring up a fall event!).  It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite post from her blog, because I get excited every time a notification that she has written appears in my inbox, but I would say this post is one of her many greats, and spoke to me in a personal way.

Onwards and upwards… I am guessing I should be answering the same questions that Kristen did in her post, so here goes nothing:

What am I working on?

Being the literal person that I am, I am currently working on answering these questions!  Taking a miniscule step back, I am working on making my way through 10 tons of laundry from last week’s trip down the shore (more to follow on that in future blog posts).  I am guessing this question assumes that a blogger has some bigger project happening in the background, which for me is not strictly true.  About a year into my blogging, I did latch on to one idea for a book, and I have some work done on it, but to say I am working on it currently would be a gross misrepresentation of the truth.  During this season of the year the greatest work in process is creating a summer of fun, lasting memories for my kids.  Failing that, surviving the summer with everyone’s sanity intact would also be acceptable.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I will say, straight out, that my blog does not seem overly different to me from others in its genre:  recovery bloggers write as a means of figuring out this whole business of sober living.   One thing that does stand out to me as a bit unusual is my starting point.  Most of the bloggers I follow spent time reading blogs before creating their own.  On the other hand, and crazy as it may seem, I had not read a single blog post before starting my own.  In fact, when it was suggested I undertake the project, I had never before heard of WordPress, and it was several months in before I understood that people outside of my family were even reading what I was writing!  So my naiveté would surely count as something different.

Perhaps another unique perspective would be my Monday posts.  Almost two years ago, I started and have since been running a weekly 12-step meeting.  From that decision a weekly blog post evolved where I take what I consider to be the highlights of each meeting, and share them with all of my blogging friends.   Readers get to hear all of the wisdom, and anonymity is maintained.  It’s like getting the Cliffs Notes of the 12-step world!

Why do I write/create what I do?

Of the four questions, this is the easiest to answer.  I first started this blog to chronicle my journey of recovery, to write about the trials and tribulations of early sobriety.  Once I understood and appreciated the blogging world, and the countless benefits that come with being part of it, I wrote (and still write, to this day) to “hold my seat,” as it were, in this incredible community.  My posts still chronicle my recovery, as I will be on that journey for the rest of my life.  Anything I do is part of that journey.  But now, the focus is so much broader:  I will write as a springboard from the post of a fellow blogger, or I will write because I know that sharing my experience will benefit my blogging friends, sometimes I will write to share a laugh.  The relationships formed here are almost as interactive as my friends in person, and so I write/create to maintain those relationships.

How does my writing/creative process work?

It makes me smile to call what I do a creative process, from my perspective it feels like I am simply emptying out my brain onto the blank sheet of a word processing document.  Answering this question has the song “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea playing like a backdrop in my head (a song I detest, by the way, so I need to shut it down, immediately!).

So I suppose, if there is a process at all, it would go something like this:  there is an issue in my life that I feel the need to explore.  In the earliest days of this blog, the issues would appear every time I turned around, as I’m sure is typical with everyone in early sobriety.  That issue then becomes the subject matter for a post.  From there I search for a “hook:” something about the issue that is relatable, preferably to those both in and out of recovery.  The more time passes, the easier this becomes.  Once I have that hook, there is no stopping the process, and truly for me the post writes itself.  Not a fancy process at all!

So next I get the fun of tagging some of my inspirations for logging on to WordPress.  I am publishing this before I have even gone through my reader, so if I have tagged someone already tagged, my apologies.

First I will pick Lisa Neumann, the brilliant author of the blog Sober Identity.  Lisa’s positive feedback on my blog was my first realization that blogging is an interactive business; not only do I get to write about the issues I am facing, but there are actual bloggers who have been there and done that, and they will help me along the way.  I have never read a post of hers that has not resounded deeply with me, her commitment to helping others in recovery is truly her life’s work.  If you are new to Lisa, I would start with this post.

Second I will pick a blog a bit newer (to me, anyway), called There’s more to me than this.  I read this blog, and often have the feeling that thoughts were taken directly out of my head and transferred via someone else’s keyboard.  And it is that exact connection that makes the blogging world so amazing… people from all over the planet, and all walks of life, sharing experiences and giving each other wisdom.  As a matter of fact, her most recent post describes beautifully all I am trying to convey about why I love the blogging world.  Start right here and work your way backwards, I promise you it will be well worth it!

I will make the same disclaimer to my “tagees” as was made to me:  feel no pressure to carry this forward; no bad mojo will fall on your life if you wish to end the blog tour right here.  But do consider it; thinking about why I do what I do has been enlightening, and filled me with gratitude!

Today’s Miracle:

The reminder of how miraculous our blogging community is!

Posted on August 3, 2014, in Recovery, That's What Friends Are For and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Yay Josie!
    I was so excited to see that Kristen had tagged you and was delighted to read about your process, mission and creative triggers. (And, dang…I can’t get Iggy A. out of my brain now).
    Do you know what I look most forward to after reading your post? The very last line where you outline the miracle. I hope you don’t mind, but I often steal/adopt that same miracle and make my mantra for the day, too.
    You are an inspiration and am so happy our paths crossed. xo


  2. Great post, Josie! Love the ladies you tagged too. I second what Michelle said about your closing miracle. Your posts are always fun and informative. I love the way you write. Welcome back!


  3. So glad you remembered Lisa!!!!! I should have gotten her.

    Great post. Really really. (Not very articulate today…must be a Monday.)



  4. Fantastic post Josie – I too found it inspirational and really liked to see that sneak peak into your creative process here. You always have thought-provoking and insightful posts. We all win in this game here. You rock.


  5. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!


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