This post is in response to a prompt going around Twitter has bloggers stop and think about what and how do they write called #MyWritingProcess.
Here are the My Writing Process Blog Tour Instructions:
Step 1: Acknowledge the person (& site) who involved you in the blog tour.
Step 2: Answer these 4 questions about your writing process.
Step 3: Tag another writer or 2 to answer the questions the week after you. Give a one-sentence bio of each, and link to their websites.
1) WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
In my real life day job, I do a lot of technical writing- scientific journal manuscripts and lab protocols.In my spare time, I write this blog, which tries to turn plants, plant science and all things autotroph into something interesting for a general audience.
2) HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS’ WORK IN THE SAME GENRE?
There isn’t much blogosphere real estate dedicated to plant biology and virtually no one blogging primarily about photosynthesis research. My schtick here on this blog is to make plants and other photosynthesizers (and their researchers) more interesting and relatable to your everyday life. I’m a hack at analogies to make difficult concepts easier to understand. I also use adorable/annoying alliteration for compulsive reasons I don’t fully understand. As part of making things entertaining, I like to leave Easter Eggs (humorous pop culture references or footnotes ala Psych) in my posts for readers just to make sure they are paying attention.
3) WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO?
My hypothesis is that the general public just doesn’t find the topics of photosynthesis and plant biology interesting. Photosynthesis is just some boring equation we all learned in the third grade. Done. Checked off the Bucket List. Plants in general may be a little more interesting, but they are literally the scenery and are often under-appreciated. I’m a cheerleader and use the blog as a form of science outreach. Photosynthetic organisms form the basis of our ecosystem, and it’s important that we know how they work. I’m not seeking to convert anyone into being a plant scientist, but hope that my audience gains more respect for people who are.
4) HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
Inasmuch as there is a process… I try to talk about plant-related topics that are current, whether it is a new scientific paper or seasonally-appropriate to catch readers’ attention. Some ideas are planned in advance according to the calendar- what’s blooming, fruiting etc. Other ideas strike me more quickly after reading some link I saw shared on Twitter or Facebook. No matter how the spark happens, the ideas for the basic form of my posts rattle around in my brain for a while as I’m working out a clever angle. This is followed by a fair amount of research involving at least two-dozen internet browser tabs being open at any given time. The writing isn’t as efficient as I’d like it to be. Even after much incubation in my brain beforehand, posts take me an hour or so to write, link, add pictures and publish. I’m hoping that I’ll get faster with continued practice. That being said, my posts are generally published the day I start to type them and very few are written and scheduled more than a day in advance. So, that doesn’t leave much room for any kind of editing process.
5) HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT? WHAT IS ‘BLOGWORTHY’ TO YOU?
As I’ve hinted at in the above questions, my blog post subjects tend to be autotroph-related. For posts about new primary literature, it has to be close to my area of expertise (photosynthesis). For more general plant science, I take advantage of seasonal interests. In either case, I have to find some catchy way of presenting the science so it is interesting, understandable and just different enough from what’s already on the web somewhere.
Now comes the fun part, I get to tag another blogger. I’m passing this along to Hope Jahren, also an advocate and admirer of autotrophs*. Her blog is hopejahrensurecanwrite.com . It’s hilarious and “made of good.”
*I told you I have a problem.