Wednesday, October 19

Doing The Hard Work

It's getting colder in our area, no surprise since we're half-way through October. But with all the rain we've gotten - yes, we are blessed to NOT be in drought mode - it's felt colder than it really has been. So when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds yesterday I had to take advantage.

And take all my flowers out of our flowerbeds. My least favorite chore because it takes the garden from pretty to ugly in a heartbeat. All that churned up dirt? Blech. Even though it takes about 1/10 the time to take them out as to put them in, it's a chore I dread each year. This year, though, bebe wanted to be under foot help and I thought, "Well, it might be fun." Plus it would be a good teaching moment - she's planted with me basically since birth, but un-planting? Never.

Yeah, my brilliant idea lasted about 2 minutes, at which point she declared un-planting to be boring (in bebe-speak, 'this isn't fun like when we plant') and started wandering the yard. Piling up some leaves and jumping in and asking me if we were almost done. I finally distracted her with bubbles and a rake - don't ask, but our leaves are shiny and clean this morning.

What does this have to do with writing? Writing - actually revising - can be the same way. When I'm putting a story on paper for the first time, I love it. It may be clunky in places and it may take longer than I think (like planting) but I'm envisioning the book finished and polished and tumbling over my flowerbeds like my impatiens and roses. Doing the work to make it pretty and beautiful (I.E. revising - weeding the beds, cleaning them out, adding topsoil) isn't so fun. It can be downright painful, just like pulling our flowers out was painful for bebe.

But the reward? Priceless. My flowerbeds are dull and boring this morning. Over the weekend we'll put down mulch and plant some tulip bulbs for spring...and in about 6 months, I'll have a pretty garden again. Just like, when I finish the WIP, I'll have a shiney new book that makes me smile.

Is there a painful part of writing to you?


  1. Oh, I like this, especially since I haven't pulled any flowers out yet and don't want to. I also love hearing the "bebe" stories. I feel as though she's growing up with all of us.

  2. Lately the painful part of writing for me is just to make myself sit down and write. I'm in Today I have decided to force myself to put words down, even if I have to go back later and either delete or revise. As for revising and editing, that's my favorite part about writing...putting that shine to my work. Nice post Kristi!

  3. Great metaphor!

    We did this, too, the other day. Ugh. The good news? We planted about 150 daffodils and about 100 tulips, so hopefully, it will be so pretty come spring. I already have ideas about where I want things in the spring, so am anxious for it to arrive...

  4. Your story about 'un-planting' made me realize I'd better get my bulbs in, too. As for revising--good metaphor. although revising is lots more painful :)

    I'm revising right now, and it's...challenging. Good post, Kristi.

  5. Beautiful post! The most painful part for me, sadly, is the first draft. I actually like the revisions and rewriting. And I'm with Christine, I'm in a writer drought too. I sit and stare at a blank page, write a few lines, delete it. Just can't seem to stay focused. Love the flower garden analogy :)

  6. Thanks, Liz. Sometimes I worry about over-sharing...but she's just too cute not to talk about. :)

    Christine, revising - once I'm in the mode - is okay. But nothing beats the shiney newness of seeing my characters for the first time. :)

    I'll be your spring garden will be gorgeous, D'Ann! Good luck with it.

    Thanks, Barbara! Hope the revisions sort themselves out quickly - and mostly painlessly!

    Jennifer, at least you're trying to push forward. I think writer-drought happens, but the more we push forward the more likely it is the drought will end.

  7. Nice post, Kristi! My painful writing moment comes when I have to write a query and synopsis. Ack!

  8. I'm with you, Kristi, The revisions are probably the most difficult. Though, as a pantster, early writing is difficult too.

    I love this analogy though. And I'm sure come Spring your flower garden will be oh-so-pretty.

  9. Oh, Shawn, synopsis/query much more than difficult!

    I hope so, Connie! I do love spring flowers.

  10. Kristi, I love the Bebe stories too. She cracks me up. Loads of personality, out little miss.

    And I didn't realize I was supposed to dig up my garden. LOL. It's lucky to get deadheaded in the fall. Every spring, I swear I'll do it in the fall after I'm removing all those dead stalks.

    And Bix is the first time that I've reworked and reworked to get it right--still reworking on today's agenda. But, I believe it's worth the deadheading, cutting, and transplanting this time around :)

  11. Bix is *definitely* worth the work, Margie. And, I should note, I like the finished product but agonizing over every choice/option while I'm revising...just isn't my favorite thing to go.

    Yes, bebe is FILLED with personality...don't know *where* she might get that from...