On Writing & Being a Writer

The lovely Almie from Apocalypstick asked me to participate in this blog hop about my writing process. She’s one of my favourite writers (& humans!) out there so I had to say yes. (FYI, she also wrote a really great book and if you haven’t read it yet, you need to get on that!) So here are some questions about writing, along with my answers. I want you guys to answer them, too!

On writing and being a writer

 {Photo via Gala Darling}

1. What am I working on? 

When I’m not working on this blog, I work full time as a freelance writer. I’m the Sex & Relationship columnist for the Toronto Sun, editor of the No Strings Attached blog and work a handful of other really awesome clients like Lucky Bloke (among others) writing articles, planning social media and helping with PR. My work has also appeared in Canadian Living, Elle Canada, The Huffington Post, the Toronto Star & Your Tango.

A few months ago, I started working on my first book which will be a collection of personal essays about dating and relationships. So, if you don’t see me on the internet as much as you used to, it’s probably because I’m working on the book or creating fun content for my clients.

Over the next few months, you’ll probably see less product reviews on Skinny Dip. I’m going to continue to work with a handful of companies that I truly love, however I’ll be scaling back over the next few months – after I wrap up some reviews I already have scheduled. I want to get back to telling more stories: about dating, love, sex and my life. That’s what I love to write and I feel like I’ve gotten away from that over the past year or so. It’s time for a change. Expect to see a more finely curated selection of products + more stories.  I hope you enjoy the shift in content as much as I think I will!

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

Oh gosh, I really hope my writing differs from others of it’s genre. A friend recently told me, “your writing cuts through a lot of the bullshit that’s out there” and it was honestly, one of the nicest comments I’ve ever received. There’s a lot of amazing, hilarious, witty sex & relationship writers out there, however we’re also subjected to a lot of stuff that’s saccharine, unoriginal and sometimes just bad. I like to think I have a unique voice. I have a quirky sense of humour and possess an appreciation for the absurd, yet people tell me that I’m really relatable. So, there’s that.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Ever since I started blogging 5 years ago, people have asked me “Why dating, sex and relationships?” (but mostly it’s “why sex?” People are always curious about why a woman would choose to write about the sex.) However, people who’ve known me for some time in real life aren’t as surprised. Like my mini-blog bio says, everyone has a friend who is a total weirdo magnet – I’m that friend. Because of this, I’ve collected a plethora of bizarre dating stories.

I’ve always loved writing. After 10 years of blogging privately on Livejournal, I really wanted a place where I could interact with a larger, more public audience, in hopes that I could use my blog as a writing portfolio of sorts. So, I decided to start this blog so I would have a place to tell stories and sort through the romantic wreckage of my 20’s – and now 30’s. I spent a large part of my 20’s dating and exploring my sexuality so, writing about these things just seemed like a natural starting point for me. Sex is hot. Sex is heartbreaking. Sex is hilarious. There are so many great stories to be told around the topic of sex, love and human relationships.

Five years later, the blog has evolved into a mix of dating stories, thoughts on personal development, sexy product reviews and bizarre updates from my illustrious team of interns; and has helped me launch a freelance writing career.

4. How does my writing process work?

It totally depends on what I’m writing. If an idea is fresh in my head, I’ll just sit down at my computer and write it. However, if I’m writing something more complex, or I need to get my thoughts in order, I find it really helpful to write things down in a notebook. I have many, many notebooks that I have filled over the years.

However, if I’m writing a product review for the blog the process is slightly different because I need to test the product, photograph it, edit the photos and then usually do some graphics in Adobe Illustrator. Often it’s editing and creating the photo layouts that take the most time. However, I’m a really visual person so having decent quality, appealing photos is a MUST.

When it comes to working on my book, I work on it at least an hour a day, first thing in the morning. I find that this is a good way to stay engaged in the project without getting overwhelmed with the enormity of the project. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in an hour!

5. And the other part of this question, how does my writing process not work?

Well, seeing as I write as a living. If it doesn’t work, I figure out a way to make it work because there are always deadlines that need to be met. If I’m having trouble writing a certain piece I’ll usually just take a break – sometimes that’s an hour to have a quick nap or an entire afternoon to just un-plug & let my mind relax. I’ll also read things I’m working on out loud to my Mom – she’s a great sounding board – or have writer & editor friends look them over. When I come back to the piece with fresh eyes, I’m usually able to make it work.

How do you guys write? Let’s talk about writing!

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  • Colleen S.

    Congrats on your book! I look forward to reading it!

    • skinny_dip

      Thanks Colleen! I look forward to finishing writing it 🙂

  • Abby

    Enjoyed reading this, since you are one of my very favorite writers. I can’t wait for your book!

    • skinny_dip

      Thanks Abby! xox

  • Karlyn

    but wait, that photo has hard boiled eggs! hehehe 🙂

    • skinny_dip

      Oh wait, I totally didn’t notice that! Why didn’t I notice that?!!