By Jennifer Goble
For two weeks I cared for my sister who is recovering from Leukemia. We had quality time to do anything or nothing. I wrote, she crocheted, we colored, and I put together a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle.
Besides a stiff neck, the puzzle assembly gave me thinking time. The process from start to finish, of connecting small pieces to form a recognizable object, reminded me of writing.
- Choose a puzzle with a picture you like. The same goes for writing topics.
- Before your start, organize the pieces by straight edge, color, and design. Before writing, organize your thoughts by characters, plot, concept, location, etc.
- Build straight edge borders first. Books, features, and poems need boundaries too.
- Work on one area until you’re stumped, leave it for awhile and come back to it later. Approach writers block the same way.
- The beginning and end are often more exciting than the middle.
- Rely on detail in each piece. Descriptions guide placement of what we write.
- Continually check the picture on the box. Reference your favorite author’s style and technique.
- Don’t force a piece to fit. If an idea is good, it belongs in something you write.
- Don’t get discouraged. Every project has ups and downs.
- Take breaks. Pressure and stress will not create a masterful paragraph, chapter, feature, or document.
- Celebrate when you complete a section of the puzzle. Celebrate completed chapters, articles, deadlines, etc.
- Don’t give-up. All puzzle pieces will fit somewhere. Ask for help. Another set of eyes can spot a missing piece. Have someone else read and edit your writing.
- When finished, you know it, so stop. Everything we write also has an end and an ending.
- Enjoy and admire the finished product.
- Remember, not everyone will like it.
- Expect some people to criticize your efforts.
- Some will admire your skill and tenacity.
Like a puzzle, writing is a process, and it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Every stage can be fun as well as frustrating. Both require a never give up attitude.
Writing, unlike a puzzle, takes creativity, and when you gift it to the world, you share part of your soul.
What activity resembles YOUR writing process?
Until the next time: Live while you live!
Columnist: South Platte Sentinel