Saturday, 6 July 2013

Back to the wood

Whenever I embark on a DIY project, which I admit isn't very often - I like to do it properly - which is why each project takes me a long time to finish. I'm the same with my writing. I like to get all my tools and equipment I need around me first and my work area needs to be clean and tidy, otherwise I have to clean up and tidy that first before I start. I also have to follow instructions to the letter - I do exactly as it says on the tin (Ronseal should be my middle name!)

With my writing, I set up a new folder and document on my computer, my pencil is sharpened, my pen full of ink, my note paper is by the side of me, a dictionary, back copies and an up to date copy of the magazine I'm writing for are on the other side of me and I have a cup of tea to wet my whistle and I'm off. I also follow submission guidelines to the letter too.

When I'm painting the house, I like to strip the doors back to the wood if I can. I then sand paper it and apply the undercoat or base coat. While that's drying I have another cuppa and think about what I'm going to do next or other frivolous thoughts that might enter my head. Then I apply the next coat and usually one more coat after that.

With writing, I find that taking it back to the wood - the bare origins of the inspiration for an article - I stand a far better chance of writing something that is worth writing about and publishable. If I'm stuck on an article, it just isn't flowing or doesn't read right, I stop and take that back to the wood too - step by step-  until I can see the point that the article began to unravel and I can fix it. I wait for the undercoat to dry before I tackle the next coat.

Taking your time instead of rushing in can save you a lot of time and stress at a later stage. So don't be afraid to take a step back, plan what you're going to write about, take it back to the wood and write it with the confidence that you know where the idea came from, it's essence, where it's leading to and where via which route you are going to get there.

In writing, as in life, the journey - how you get there - is as important as your destination.

Happy writing
Julie xx

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