My Writing Process- & Other Lies I Tell Myself


Recently I was asked, by the ever insightful Elin Stebbins Waldel from Beyond The Backyard Blues, to be a part of this insightful series on the Writing Process (by fabulous writers-of course), and, am very honored.


I asked to be a part of this insightful series on the WritingProcess (by fabulous writers) because if I don’t advocate for my own fabulousness- who will? But I’m still honored.

I just loved reading all the other writer’s processesesess…, and thought this might be a good opportunity for me to actually stop and sit and think about my shizz.

~ crickets ~

So here we go, my words of wisdom and acute observations, peppered with penetrating reflection and mind-blowing Eureka moments, of which I will astonish you with the mental nimbleness of a trained acrobatic high wire goddess that reads Proust.

How does your writing process work & why do you write what you do?

Let me answer that by attending to the second, first. Why do I write what I do?

The larger question should be What Do I Write?

Not self-help. Not DIY.

 Not a Foodie. Not an advocate.

Don’t know a thing about Tech and don’t give a damn about being Politically Correct (Correct- yes, just not a minion in the crazy circus).

There will not be cute kitties or smelly diapers in my writing. I am on the other side of that crappola. I have raised two children and faced-off with teachers, have lawyers on retainer, and I had suffered a husband that was always on the God Damn road, and, of whom, I still like to look at.

I have survived.

That’s it! I write about s-u-r-v-i-v-a-l.

Pretty awesome right?

Now for the first part of that question. My Process….

It’s very cerebral.

It involves morning meditation and the results of years of therapy.


Pretty much the opposite.

I just walk around, livin’ my life. If something interests me I snap a photo. Sometimes I hear about something that pisses me off. Sometimes it’s an event I’m attending, or a meal I’m gorging on, or the homeless guy that hangs around my door and wants cookies (who doesn’t?).

Sometimes it’s my kids- if they’ve paid their own bills that month (No- really. They’re awesome. They’re on their own now. I’m blood and bones, but they are on their own).

Whatever IT is, I arrange snapshots on my desk top and craft posts around them -or- I have some idea and go out and take a photo. It always accompanies a photo. I’m very visual.


I get bored easily and pictures keep me engaged (Where is my copy of the Kama Sutra anyways? Must remember to check).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I would actually have to have a genre to figure that out.

(If any of you reading this have any idea- please help me to find my Waldo).

What are you working on now?

Besides this post?

Losing weight.

Keeping my teeth.

Getting my dividend in liquid form out of a vineyard we have a stake in.

World Peace.

Nothing much.


I’ve been asked to compile an A Pleasant House Cookbook salted with memories of my childhood.

It should be a best seller, which is the…



Did I say there wouldn’t be Kittens?



Next up on this writers series of TED Talks is the sweet Laura Lee Carter:

Laura Lee Carter is a professional writer, author and psychotherapist. Her life’s purpose is to show others how to turn midlife difficulties into once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for personal liberation. Laura Lee has authored a number of books and e-books. Her latest is: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife. Follow her on Twitter: @midlifequeen

And here are the other writer’s links that have shared their process.


Marci Rich

Janie Emaus

Walker Thornton

Lisa Froman

Helene Bludman

Mindy Klapper Trotta

Cathy Chester

Linda Maltz Wolff

Lois Alter Mark

Elin Stebbins Waldal


  • Elin Stebbins Waldal - Best, what are you working on now, list ever. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - World Peace is very important don’t ya think? *wink*ReplyCancel

  • Lance - Congratulations on being asked. I rarely get asked on my writing process…’s some of it:”

    No one seems to care about me on a couch while my kids watch The Voice or Pretty Liars and the cat and the dog want in my lap and I spill my diet dr pepper and still manage to writ a book or two….but that’s a lot of it.

    Good luckReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - But I WASN’T asked. I pushed my way in! That’s my style. HAhahaaaaaa.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - HAHA! I get this!

    I’ve had friends ask me, “So, what do you write about on your blog?”


    Just my shizz…as you so eloquently put it.

    Yeah, no genre here either. And certainly not based on my morning meditation or therapy.

    Medication? Maybe? Meditation?…uh, no.

    =) Too funny!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes- people always ask ‘So, what do you write about?’ My Life. I’m a Lifestyle blogger. ‘What’s that?’ I don’t know. I make it up as I go along. HA!ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Excellent insight into how fabulous brain. As usual you have captured my attention. I am working on drilling in Texas. I also featured Laura Lee Carter today, so she is star power on the internet today.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Awesome Sue! Let me swing on over and take a look! Thanks for the heads-up about Laura Lee.ReplyCancel

  • Vinodini Iyer - Sometimes its just best not to get into the genre finding business and be yourself! That’s when all the spontaneity keeps your readers engrossed.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Someone said, ‘Find your passion and write about that’ If it were only that easy- I’ve got too many passions! HA!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - I’ll advocate for you Cheryl! I think you’re the shizz, lady! We share the affinity for visuals and it sounds like our processes are similar. I just kind of find inspiration in the day to day shit too. If you’re doing a cookbook, I’m buying it. Get to work on that, will you please? I think your genre is Sass.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Sass…. it could be a thing….. Love ya gal!ReplyCancel

  • Marjie Murter Walenta - I’m going to have to follow your blog now…this just made my day! Loved it. (I know I already posted a comment, but I had to tell you again…this is just fab!)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - you just made MY DAY!!! How wonderful!!! I’m off to visit you now!!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Cook Bonifant - I would not want to be a teacher facing off with you. You are mighty.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I WAS a teacher- I knew all the tricks. HA!ReplyCancel

  • Terrye - I see absolutely nothing wrong with your process, in fact, it’s wonderful. It keeps you real and it seems to be working for you. So, why change it, right?ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Right! I’m not changing for nobody!!(maybe you- but that’s it). HA!ReplyCancel

  • Marjie Murter Walenta - This was just a wonderful blog! Humorous, honest….loved it!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Marjie! Glad you liked it and it’s always great to have a new reader!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - The method to your madness? No method at all?

    Your genre? YOU!

    What are you writing? Whatever the hell crawls through your brain.

    LOVE THIS!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes, I suppose my genre is me. My sister would tell you that had always been the case. What a pain. Hahaaaa. Love ya Cath!ReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - LOL!! I’m a fan of your method!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Roshni! Works for me. And Congrats on your award!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jane Gassner - Love the way you’ve taken this and made it your own. When Marci Rich tapped me way back when, the blog train was Very Serious with a lot of poets and Very Serious Writers. I tapped Janie Emaus, knowing she would twerk (?!) it in a new direction. And look what it has become. I’m so proud. Btw, the link to my post, which came between Marci’s and Janie’s is

  • the writing tour :: time to start - […] Cheryl Nicholl […]ReplyCancel

  • The Scoop… - […] Cheryl Nicholl […]ReplyCancel

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