Sunday, January 31, 2010

Writing a Book is Like....

During this past week, I've compared my writing to creating a quilt. I'm in revision mode and the analogy works very well. I've got all these scraps of fabric, bits and pieces of a picture, cotton batting to fill the inside, a sewing machine filled with thread, a hand sewing needle for fine work, and a large back piece to connect the top to the bottom.  

I'm cutting, snipping, placing, moving, attaching, shifting, asking others for input, piecing together larger finished products, connecting the squares of completed pictures, figuring out what I need to add, attaching the piece to a frame and looking at the final picture. The story is forming. The story is coming together one piece at at time.

My blog friends have responded with their own analogies. From their thoughts and with a few more ideas from me, I've come up with the following about writing.

Writing a BOOK is like:

1) Sewing a garment.
2) Knitting a sweater.
3) Cooking a gourmet meal.
4) Alterations of a dress to make it fit.
5) Packing for trip where the weather changes on a whim.
6) Driving to a new destination.
7) Building a house.
8) Painting a picture.
9) Scrapbooking.
10) Finishing a 1000 piece puzzle.

What does writing a book feel like to you?


Jeanie said...

When I write, I feel like I am tapping into myself, into a well of thoughts and creativity hidden beneath the surface, part of me I never knew existed. But I feel connected to something larger than myself, too. God or my muse, the creative force of the cosmos, or the collective energy of writers past and present.

That's on a good day.

On a bad day, it feels like trying to push an elephant through a straw.

Christine said...

I prefer the well tapping analogy, but I hear your elephant pushing through a straw! Ha ha... so true!! Good days are amazing and bad writing days are like 3 days of labor.

JoAnn said...

Carving a totem pole. Haha! Crazy, I know. But I think about the process this way: It's a long log, and I start carving at one end. I get the basic shapes of that face down and move to the next totem. Then I hear about a contest :-) and go back to the first and refine. Then I work on the second some more and it starts looking better. And I start on the basics for the third totem. Then I might move to the end, and work there.

I just hope when I finish, that all the faces are perfectly executed. And none are sticking their tongues out at me!


Christine said...

Oh, I like that analogy, JoAnn. I love the part where you go to the first face to refine it for contests. I do the same thing. This year I promised myself I'd at least have most of the story fleshed out and carved before I started super refining the front end for contests. But I am entering them--need goals!

M.V.Freeman said...

Writing for me can be an agonizing process. It's like giving birth...the story is there, but when it comes out, it can be very painful and the final result is wonderful.

I wish it were easier for me, but it isn't. Than I ask myself why I write-because I have to. :-)

I love that analogy about a quilt Christine!

Christine said...

Mary: writing is a lot like giving birth--perhaps to that Elephant Jeanie's pushing through the straw. Hard work, but worth it in the end.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Wow, what great analogies. Since I'm an organizer, I think my writing is kind of like the spare bedroom closet. My thoughts and ideas are all over the place, and I have to put them in order.

If I don't do it well, the whole thing comes crashing down and I have to start over.

Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's work, but in the end the sense of accomplishment is worth the struggle.

Christine said...

Gwen: that's amazing--exactly how I see your mind working :) I wonder, are the craft books and online courses the shelves for your ideas? That's how I'd picture them.

Great analogy!

M.V.Freeman said...

See, I have no organization...I think that's my biggiest problem.

I need a mental closet organizer!

Hmmm...Gotta work on that.

Christine said...

We all have different processes, Mary. But maybe a few rods and shelves will help you stack your fabulous ideas. You see my office lately? Organized chaos! I go back and forth between paper and computer and scribbled notes and neatly typed stuff.

Crap. I am bipolar! Haha. No, but you see, that's just the way my mind works. It needs organization, but the flexibility to shift and be organic.

I find rigid thinking might stifle one's writing process. There has to be a happy medium for each of us.

Back to birthing my elephant :)

Arlene said...

Not to be rude, but sometimes to me it's like throwing up and then cleaning it up. The words just come out in a spew and then I go back and edit later ...

Christine said...

Arlene: not rude at all. I often say I've vomited on the page... word spews occur regularly over here. And the clean up can be a "mess" as well.

Thanks for sharing!