Rachel’s been writing for us since the beginning in June 2012 and has had close to 100 articles published so far. As an experienced blogger with her own well-read blog, Rachel knows what readers want. She also knows a thing or two about finding balance and motivation.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I have always enjoyed reading and writing. When I majored in English in college, everyone wanted to know what in the world I was going to do with my college degree. My degree has served me very well, however. I worked for a government contractor as a technical editor for 10 years before I quit my job to raise my children and work from home full time. I have been writing for my web site http://www.creativehomemaking.com for 17 years (yes, there was internet way back then).
What in your background helps to inform your writing and make you good at what you do?
I learned early on to draw from my own experiences when I write. I write about my daily life, from parenting, to cooking, gardening, holidays, crafts, anything that I happen to be working on at the moment. I have been a single mom, step mom, foster mom, and am currently the mom to six children, ranging in ages from 25 to 3. Lots of life experiences give a writer lots of creative resources to draw from. I rarely find myself without anything to write about.
When I first started writing I thought I was doing a good job writing one article every two weeks. I over analyzed everything and agonized over every word. I never even really thought of myself as a writer until a couple of years ago. Now I have no problem writing 5 or 6 articles a week or more.
What do you do to get your creative juices flowing?
I find that if I sit down to write and I don’t already have an idea of what I am going to write about, that I struggle to put an article together. My inspirations almost always come to me when I am doing other things like cooking, gardening, or even driving in the car. Once I come up with an idea for an article I generally mull it around in my head for a day or two before I sit down to put my thoughts on the computer. When I write in this manner I find that it doesn’t take me very long to write an article because the article is mostly written in my head before I write it down.
Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to Pinterest. It hasn’t even been a year yet since I first discovered Pinterest, and I’m hooked. Not only is it a great tool for promoting my web site, I use it all the time to discover topics for new articles to write. Sometimes all I have to do is sit down and start looking at all the images I have pinned (4,000 and counting) and I can often come up with a new article idea in just a few minutes.
What do you think makes a really good article?
A really good article is relevant and interesting. That sounds easy enough, but it really surprises me how many writers don’t put the effort into writing interesting articles that real people would want to read. A lot of articles these days are written solely to promote big brands, and that is fine, but writers can lose sight of the fact that real people are going to be reading their articles and that they want to learn something new. And they want photos! Great photos are what has made Pinterest hugely popular, and to me, if an article doesn’t provide a reader with both useful information and a great photo to go along with it, it isn’t worth writing in the first place.
Thanks, Rachel. We couldn’t agree more. Posts really need to deliver that one golden nugget, or they’re just taking up space. And we’re working hard to add news features, like image uploads. Keep up the great work!