My co-author Von is teaching one of our coworkers how to crochet. Wanting nothing to do with crafts whatsoever, I can't help but watch in fascination whenever Erica visits Von's desk. I may not want to be bothered with it, but I respect the art.
With much patience, Von
instructs her on how to hold the crochet needle and what stitches to
use. Since they've started Erica's lessons, she's made much progress on
the pot holder or whatever she's attempting to make. Much to my horror,
the last time Erica visited for a lesson, Von cruelly laughed and ripped
the stitches apart, destroying her work. Well, maybe she didn't laugh,
but all that hard work was unraveled back into a ball of yarn. It may
seem mean, but Von says taking it apart is the best way for Erica to
The same lesson can be applies to our writing. About two
months ago, we were working on our fourth project when things just
didn't feel right. I hadn't told her, but I felt bored and the writing
felt stale. Chalking it up to exhaustion, I'd leave the project alone
for a couple days, come back and feel the same way. I talked to her
about what I was feeling and much to my surprise, she felt the same way.
We're both under the philosophy that if it isn't right, we're not going
to publish it. Though it was painful, we went back over what we thought
was complete, ripped it apart at the seams and started from scratch.
main problem was that we were dumbing down two very intelligent
supporting characters. Knowing that these two important people would
already know what was going on, we took it from there. The stone that we
thought things were set in was shattered and we started back from the
beginning. Starting from scratch was exactly what we needed. Along the
way we've stitched in material that makes for a more interesting read.
Now we're both happy with the nearly finished product.
Though it may hurt, sometimes taking things apart and starting fresh is exactly what you need.