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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pulling weeds

So I was ranting to my good friend, Mel, yesterday about all the frustrating things that were going on that day - from cell disrupters not working, to bosses being kind of slack, to toddlers not eating, and in the end I mentioned how therapeutic it is to pull weeds. What? You say? Pull weeds? Yes, pull weeds. If you've never benefited from this stress reliever you don't know what you're missing. First there's the satisfying physical exhaustion of your back aching and your arms feeling like they're getting going to burst, then there's the sweet sound of ripping earth. And then... then presto! Your yard/garden looks so much more bee-u-tee-ful without all those ugly eyesores of nature. Sure, you get a bit of dirt thrown in your face, and once in a while a spider will land on you, but that sound.... oh, it's so comforting. Hitting a punching bag or pillow cannot compare. Pulling weeds. Yes, that's where it's at.

Writing. Oh right. I forgot this was a writing blog. Well, I suppose that pulling weeds is a bit like doing revisions. We all have a few weeds in our manuscripts, those paragraphs or descriptions that just don't need to be there and are suffocating the rest of the beautiful words around them. And, most often our finished work looks much better after we pull a few of those out. The sound - well, no. You don't get the satisfying crunch of roots disentangling themselves from the ground. Really, all you get is a little click as you hit that delete button. And of course, not all of our writing weeds are big ugly patches of crabgrass. There are a few flowers, often prettier than dandelions, that have to be snipped/ripped now and then, and that's never fun. So, the satisfaction is not quite complete. But, in the end it has to be done. How extensively is of course up to you to you the gardener... er, writer. Yeah, whatever.

So my big question of the day is  how many weeds... um, words did you rip today? In the past 24 hours - I've pulled 1700!!  Yep 1700. I'm going to need some hedge clippers soon. And that's my random rambling for today.

Now on to some contests: (my real reason for blogging today). :)

First up is a contest for some awesome books from the folks at YA highway.

Second is a contest from Roni and Julies contest where they are giving away some awesome prizes including query letter or first 5 pages critiques from Agent Suzie Townsend, Editor Brendan Deenan, Janet Reed's assistant Meredith Barnes and Fine Print Lit's intern Gemma Cooper. This is a super cool contest that all inspiring writers should enter. *I'm keeping my fingers crossed*

Thursday's addendum - looky, I got a new blog award from Jen at unedited. Go check out her blog.

And that's all folks,


mellymel said...

Wow, Angie! What an awesome analogy for writing. I too used to find weeding VERY therapeutic.

I didn't pull any weeds or flowers from my wip today because I'm still in the process of planting, nurturing and waiting for my garden to finish growing. Seems like everything is taking longer to bloom than I thought. But, you can't rush these things, right? Nature must take it's course. As soon as my garden is complete I will begin to pull those weed suckers with a vengeance! Though I might just sit back and enjoy my garden for a couple of weeks before the back breaking work begins :)

Angie said...

haha...ok, I felt silly posting the weed analogy, but you've just made it worth it. :)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Thanks so much for pimping our contest! Good luck!

Jen said...

I love your analogy!!! Hmm Weeds... I like it, what a great way to think about it all!!!

Awesome contests up!!!

BTW I have a fabulous looking blog award with your name on it!!! Stop by to take a look!

Joann Swanson said...

I love the analogy! I just wish I found pleasure in gardening. That's one thing we hire done because of my black thumb. Me + plants = dying green things. I once pulled a bunch a green shoots I thought were weeds. Turned out they were sprouting bulbs.

Now, when it comes to writing - I absolutely love yanking those weeds and seeing how pretty the flowers around them really are. Seems like most adverbs are of the dandelion variety. :)

Annie McElfresh said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA This made me laugh!

Thanks for the linkies!!

LM Preston said...

Did you mean Pulling Weeds or Hacking them? lol, in my case its Hacking :-D

Angie said...

Ah, there's hacking and there's pulling. Hacking I guess would apply to whole huge sections (hence the hedge clippers) but sometimes there's just pulling the occasional dandelion. You also have to be careful of seed dispersal - this happens when a word pops into your head and suddenly it's all over the manuscript. Dandelions (adverbs) are notorious for this. And then of course there's that horrible feeling when you let the weed grow back! Yes, this has happened to me. I lob off a huge section and months later there it is again. You have to get the roots! :)

mellymel said...

hahaha...way to run with this analogy guys :) lovin' it.

Bee said...

I like how you connected pulling weeds to revising and editing. I haven't pulled any weeds today. I'm on a just-write spree so I can finish my novel first.

Also, Roni and Julie's contest is so darn cool.

G'luck with weed pulling! :P



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