Writing is Messy: Guest blogging for Southern Writers Magazine’s Suite T

Posted June 29, 2015

Many thanks to the editors of Southern Writers Magazine for the invitation to write about my messy process on the magazine’s blog, Suite T. Click here to read the complete essay.

Writing is Messy from Kathleenmrodgers' powerpoint presentation at Houston Writers Guiild conference

Trust the Creative Process…Even If It’s Messy

In my last post, “Building a Scene: One Writer’s Process,” I touched briefly on how I start each writing project with nothing more than a few scribbled notes on scraps of paper. I thought it might be fun to follow up with a few photographs that capture the messy process and the final product.

“Driven to Distraction”  

kathleenmrodgers working on Driven to Dristraction for Family Circle Magazine 1998
With notes fanned out in front of me on my living room floor, I attempt to puzzle together what will become an article about attention deficit disorder for Family Circle Magazine. I’d already signed the contract so the pressure was on. (Photo by Tom Rodgers, circa 1998.)
Notes for ADD story for Family Circle Magazine 1998 kathleenmrodgers
What a mess! I took a deep breath and plowed in.

 

 

After several revisions to the manuscript, Driven to Distraction appeared in the October 1998 edition of Family Circle Magazine, where it was read by millions of readers around the country.
After several revisions to the manuscript, Driven to Distraction appeared in the October 1998 edition of Family Circle Magazine, where it was read by millions of readers around the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately

messy notes that grew into new novel Johnnie Come Lately
This pile eventually grew into my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately. The day I took this photo, I reminded myself that my first novel, The Final Salute, was cobbled together using sticky notes and index cards. For me, the only way to bring order to chaos is to wade through it.
About eight months before I finished writing Johnnie Come Lately, I dumped my work onto my kitchen table and went to work organizing the chapters. I'm old school in that I need to see the physical pages of the manuscript as I work.
About eight months before I finished writing Johnnie Come Lately, I dumped my work onto my kitchen table and attempted to organize the chapters. I’m old school in that I need to see the physical pages of the manuscript as I work.
Camel Press Poster announcing Johnnie Come Lately
Johnnie Come Lately releases from Camel Press Feb. 1, 2015 and has already garnered several endorsements. I will sign copies at B & N Southlake, TX, February 7, 2015 from 2-4 pm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A visual artist interprets “trust the process”

Thomas Rodgers' design
About a year before I finished writing my second novel, my oldest son Thomas presented me with this illustration of a design he was working on at the time. He said, “Mom, this piece is to remind you that all art is a process.” His framed gift hangs over my workspace.
Design by Thomas C. Rodgers, designer at Pan Ector, Industries, Denton, TX.
Design by Thomas C. Rodgers for Pan Ector, Industries, Denton, TX.

Two Steps Forward: A Note of Encouragement to Someone Struggling With Bulimia

 As a recovered bulimic going on twenty-eight years, I have a responsibility to reach out to others and offer hope. I wrote the following note after receiving a message from someone who asked for my help.Family Circle , bulimia kathleenmrodgers

It’s okay if you’ve stumbled after going several days without binging. Remember, you’ve simply taken one step back. The situation is not hopeless and you are not helpless. You pick yourself up and take two steps forward.

Don’t beat yourself up. Clear your head and find the good in yourself and others and keep moving forward.

Another tool to getting better is to reach out to others in some way. Service to others is such a healing balm. Maybe check on someone you know who might be lonely. Or have you ever helped serve food at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen?

Serving food to the needy can help you redirect the way you see food. Again, food is nothing more than fuel for our bodies.

It’s when we turn it into a weapon to use against ourselves that our relationship with food gets all twisted.

Today at this moment, regardless of whether you binged two days ago or two minutes ago, pick yourself up and move two steps forward.

You will get there.

You are worth the journey,

Kathleen

In my award-winning novel, Johnnie Come Lately, Johnnie Kitchen is a recovered bulimic searching for answers to secrets from her past.
In Kathleen’s award-winning novel, Johnnie Come Lately, Johnnie Kitchen is a recovered bulimic searching for answers to secrets from her past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathleen adapted her Family Circle story for Her War Her Voice:

http://herwarhervoice.com/blog/2011/11/21/dying-to-be-thin-part-i/

http://herwarhervoice.com/blog/2011/11/30/long-road-to-recovery/

Eating Disorder Resources:

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com

http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/special-issues/older-women