Writing is Like Folding Laundry

On Scribophile’s Writers Who Love Romance group, we have developed a habit of including our daily chores along with our daily writing goals. Because Life can get in the way of writing, so it’s good to keep them under surveillance. And every day is laundry day, somewhere.

040216 must be a witch

While I was folding sheets, I realized that writing and folding laundry have some common ground. For instance, sheets have several steps during the folding process. I always start with the fitted sheet, because it’s the most difficult, so I want to get it out of the way first.

In writing, I get to the plot outline first. It might not be as difficult as folding a fitted king size sheet, but it’s my least favorite part. I am sort of a pantser, but I have found myself stagnant half way through stories if I didn’t do some outlining.

040216 sheets

Next is the flat top sheet. This will be placed on top of the fitted sheet in the linen cupboard, so it has to look sharp and neat. It can cover all the problems with the outline. I mean, fitted sheet. So yes, it’s like the first draft. The fist draft is not going to be perfect the first time you fold it. You may have to start over a few times, especially if you are getting help from children, pets, or both. But eventually you will have a wonderful product to put out for critiques.

I know, you are often told to plow through the top sheet first draft. And that’s really good advice unless you like to do things differently. Maybe you like to use top sheets for both the top and bottom sheets. Then you go, writer! We can’t all be set on the same shelf in the cupboard.

040216 on the line

Once your draft has been picked over and digested by your best writer friends, you are left with the little editing jobs. These are like pillow cases. Hardly worth the time, but can’t be left out. Be sure to fold the pillow cases in thirds length wise, then in fourths until you have neat little squares.

Then you send your manuscript out to agents and editors, and maybe submit to contests. Yay you! Oh, wait, there’s an almost instantaneous rejection email. It got unsightly negativity all over your story. Well, don’t worry, everyone gets them. Many brilliant authors got a zillion or so rejections before finding the wise individual who saw how brilliant they were.

040216 writing and living

So take your dirty sheets and manuscripts, throw them in the wash, then the dryer, and start over from above. Because sheets happen.

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