Posted in Attitudes, Humor, Special Report

Cleaning up your writing


))))****SPECIAL REPORT****((((

(And it only took 2 months to write it)

All right, I admit it.  I started this post on December 2 and didn’t touch it again until 5 days ago.  Are you happy now?  I didn’t wait until the last day of forever to get my report together!   So there!

 Let’s talk about effective cleaning practices.

  1. Divide your house into small sections (on paper).
  2. Pick a small section of the house to clean each day.
  3. Procrastinate until company is coming, then complain about clumps of dog hair the size of tumbleweeds and the inch thick layer of dust on everything as you clean.

All right,  I admit it!  I skip number 1 and 2 and go directly to 3.  In between the cleaning marathons from hell (that happen just before the yearly visits by adventurous family members) I write more chapters for (or edit a bunch of) books in a series I’m writing.

Unfortunately, I write like I clean house.  There’s a plan, but I never follow it.  The similarities end there.   

Cleaning is torture, writing is life. 

One day, I might think of something that belongs in book number 11.  That, in turn, means I have  to change something in book number 4 or number 15.    By the time I’m finished, my eyeballs feel sunburned, my mechanical text reader wants a raise, and I keep wracking my brain to find anything meaningful in what I’ve just accomplished.  After all, I might feel great but the dishes aren’t any cleaner.

So I thought, “Hey!  This is a great topic for a ***SPECIAL REPORT***

How do successful writers “do it?”

cactusheadI worked so hard to find these quotes!  (If you believe that, I have a saguaro cactus to sell you.  They grow in Florida.  Really.  We have mountains here, too).

A few words plopped into the search engine and 30 seconds later I found this gem:


I have to admit:  This quote described me quite well:

writerEnid“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”  —Enid Bagnold

Ouch!  I feel prickly all over!

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” —Roald Dahl, WD

writerRaold(What’s not to like about a guy who’s man enough to hold dogs while his picture is taken?)

Hey, Roald, I’m still trying to get people to BUY my book!  How hard can it be to download my first book free on Amazon Prime?

writerElmore“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” —Elmore Leonard

My point exactly, y’all.


“I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”—Tom Clancy, WD

WriterDoris“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”—Doris Lessing

WriterRenard“Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” —Jules Renard


“Style is to forget all styles.” —Jules Renard

All right, now I’m confursed, contused, construed, conned

aw, hell!  I’m confused!

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that most writers are as much of a mess as my house.



Crabby person who likes to rant. Reading it is free so remember-- you get what you pay for. Well endowed with the multi-layered weirdness that lurks inside a not-quite-right-mind. That's how I write SciFi. Crabby, weird, and to make matters worse, I write poetry. Some of it is even...shudder...nice. I feel like a sandwich that went on a journey of self-discovery just to find I was pastrami with Maraschino Cherries, hot peppers, the contents of an MRE and broccoli on gluten free cheese bread. After that kind of trauma no 'wich is the same again.

30 thoughts on “Cleaning up your writing

    1. Glad you liked it. I was just speaking to a gentleman today who likes to write. He listened to the instructors who said things like “make an outline.” He’s “not quite right” in a different way that I am and I explained that I don’t ever make an outline. I don’t know what comes next until it writes itself on the page. 🙂


  1. That damned housework always makes a mess of our free time. I simply advocate writing amidst the mess. It sure as heck isn’t going anywhere. The mess, that is…the writing? Well girl, yours is! Kudos! Keep writing, I Pledge to Swiffer for you if the Bounty of life delivers Mr. Clean to my doorstep with high Tide. Cheer(s)!


    1. The way I look at it, the place is only going to get dirty again, until I can’t stand it (or ignore it) any longer. After cleaning the place I always say, “If I’d just take one part of the house every day and clean it, I wouldn’t be half dead from this marathon.” But that rarely happens unless I know someone is coming in a few months. Then I have goal and that, in turn, gives me a head start. 🙂


  2. Exceptional writers do complain about how hard writing is, even though they’ve got the talent and it’s second-nature to them. Maybe I’m like your sister. If I had my way I wouldn’t even have a blog. But I love people and so I’m getting the better end of it. 😀


    1. I have a voice and a face for writing. I’m better with typing alone in the dark than with people or with talking. 🙂

      Did I enter the blog-0-sphere with arms outstretched embracing the idea? Hell, no. But now I can’t imagine life without blogging. 🙂


  3. Wow, kudos to you for writing books! I wish I had the focus to even attempt that. I tried once but didn’t get past 10,000 words. Reminds me of my favorite quote by Steven Wright, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.”

    Liked by 1 person

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