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Writing is Like Laundry … by Karin Beery

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Do you remember the TV show Castle? Author Rick Castle followed detective Kate Beckett around to find inspiration for a new novel. Once he was inspired, he wrote the book, submitted it, and presto! He’s done.

Sort of.

Most people think that’s how authors write and live their lives: write a book and get it published. That’s a massive over simplification. I’ve found that writing a book is more like doing laundry—there are certain steps you need to follow, you’re often working with more than one load at a time, and you repeat the process endlessly. Here’s what I mean:

  1. Sort the laundry: plan your story. Writing your manuscript isn’t even the first step! First you need to organize everything, like sorting your whites and colors. You have to figure out your characters, the plot, the setting. Lots of loads.
  2. Start washing: now you can write your story. Take all of your information and put it into a captivating manuscript.
  3. Dry: edit. (They forgot to show that step on Castle.) Self-edit. Peer edit. Hire an editor. There are many ways to clean up your manuscript.
  4. Put away clothes: submit your story.
  5. Repeat #2 and #3: has anyone ever done just one load of laundry? Has any writer ever only worked on one story at a time? Not likely. You may have put some clothes away (i.e. submitted one story), but there’s more laundry to go (i.e. more stories to write).

This process continues until the laundry basket (your creativity) is empty. Then, six hours later, it’s full again, and you start the process all over again.

Steps #1-5 are, of course, the perfect scenario. There are always unexpected issues that pop up though:

  • Stains (scenes or characters that leave a bad impression)
  • Holes (plot holes; characterization holes)
  • Frayed hems (conclusions that just don’t work)

You never know when one of these issues will pop up, but you always have to decide—fix it or throw it away? Never easy to do with your favorite yoga pants or your favorite secondary character.

Like any chore, writing can become monotonous if you let it, so I don’t let it! I make sure to break up my writing projects by working with other people, reading, or walking away completely to let my brain reset (while I do a load of actual laundry).

I suppose someday I could run out of ideas, but I hope the creative side of my brain will keep filling up like my laundry basket.

 

While you’re waiting for your laundry to dry—the real stuff, not the book laundry—check out Karin’s book Practically Married

Practically Married

By Karin Beery

Ashley moves to a new town to marry her fiancé. Instead, she buries him.

Ashley Johnson moves to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrives in time to go to his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farmhouse. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’s problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend.

 

Excerpt

Ashley turned back to the open refrigerator while she listened to Rob’s footsteps fade away. Cheese, meat, bread, more cheese. She handed everything to Russ. Unlike his paperwork, there was no way he could lose the food between her hands and the kitchen counter.

But what if Russ couldn’t find the deed? What if they weren’t good roommates? Could she get enough work in the next year to save up a down payment on a house? Panic squeezed her lungs. Ignoring the leftover veggie tray and fruit salad, she grabbed the gelatin and set it on the island.

Russ handed her some meat that he’d smashed between bread. “Looks like we can add the farm to our list of things to figure out.” He threw together another sandwich then stood beside her, both of them leaning against the counter, munching away. Russ tore through his food, staring at the floor. Ashley bit into her sandwich, but it gummed up in her mouth. She tossed it on the counter and grabbed the bowl of green, jiggly comfort instead.

Russ opened a drawer in the island. “Spoon?”

“Thank you.” She took the largest spoon and scooped out a mound of lime gelatin and whipped cream. “You know, as crazy as it’s been since I got here, none of this should surprise me. Tom used to do this to me all the time. He’d start talking about something that he forgot to tell me about, then get mad that I couldn’t follow the conversation. It shouldn’t surprise me that he forgot to tell you about me.”

“You should have been his business partner.” Russ crunched into a pickle. “We always had stuff showing up at the farm without explanation. You’re the first bride, though.”

 

About the Author:

Karin Beery grew up in a rural Michigan town, where she wrote her first novel in high school. Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it. In her free time, she enjoys watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies with her husband and fur babies.

Links: https://www.facebook.com/authorkarinbeery/
https://twitter.com/karinbeery
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/karin-beery