Thursday, June 16, 2011

Writing is Like

I wasn't actually Tagged in this game, but Heather Kelly's blog inspired me, so here goes

Writing is like painting. It looks easy until you try it. Then you realize, there's all this "pre-work.” Moving furniture, washing walls, taping off, outlining, brainstorming, character development, plotting.

Finally, you're ready to start, and you put that first coat on, and it's easy, it's kind of fun rolling the fresh color on that blank surface. But then there’s then next wall. And the next. And now you’re tired and it’s starting to bore you, even though you’re listening to all your favorite music.

At last. You’re done. Well, not really done. Now you have to wait at least 4 hours and you’re starting to think, “This is good, it probably doesn’t even need a second coat.” But you know it will; even now as it’s drying you can see places where it looks a little thin.

Time to do that second coat, and it’s even more boring. You just want to be done, to put your room back in order. It feels like you’ve been working on this project your whole life. Even worse, you’re starting to second guess your color choice and point of view (that whole 1st person/3rd person agony).

But at least after the 2nd coat, now you’re done. Oh. No. You’re not. Now, you have to wait again, untape, retape, and paint all the trim. And after all your detailing and editing is done, someone reminds you, yes the trim does need another coat. So get back to work.

But now is it done? Oh yeah, it’s done. But you are not done. Time to untape again, clean up and move the furniture back. Don’t forget to clean your paintbrushes, write your query letter and hang the curtains back up.

All that work is worth it though, for the finished product. The room looks new and bright, you sit on your sofa, admiring your work, friends visit and compliment you. It’s all good. All except for that little spot in the corner of the ceiling where it wasn’t taped quite right and the paint bled through. And there’s a smudge on the windowsill. And behind the sofa, a splatter on the carpet. You notice these things and try to accept the fact that you will never fix them.

Eventually, you’ll need to hang up some artwork too. Especially if that query letter works.

I would like to tag Vivi Bickell who listened supportively to my writer's rant a few days ago.  Clearly I haven't followed her advice to stop looking at blogs and just write. Haha.
As for my other two tags, if you read this and feel inspired, consider yourself tagged!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE THIS ANALOGY. Love it. Because I HATE painting trim almost as much as I hate all the tiny little details that need to be changed and brought up to snuff after all the revising. I FEEL writing (the agony and ecstasy) when I think about your painting analogy. Thanks for this!!

    And guess what? Every room I've ever painted got finished. All the trim and everything. Now I just have to be able to say that about my writing!!


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