Friday, December 21, 2012

Writers! The Original Recyclers!

And we've been doing it long before the can and bottle or solar power people got into it.

I would say that a writer's specialty is composting, composting being to save all the bits of onion skin, coffee grounds, potato peels and other vegetable remains in a container (get one with a tight lid) to mellow.  In time, this garbage ripens into a rich additive for your garden.  It turns sickly plants robust in very little time at all.

Writers take bits and pieces of ideas, stow them in our brains to percolate and then, with any luck at all, we get The Idea that creates a piece that will amuse, intrigue or educate others.  Over the centuries, I have no idea how many sickly people we've cured (if any) but if we provided a laulgh or encouraged someone to look into something more fully, then we've done our job.

An example:  On November 21st I ran the title "Thanksgiving Etiquette Tips."  Since many of the writers at the South Bay Writers Workshop have recently gotten the "My Turn" column in the Daily Breeze ( my competitive spirit surged to the fore.  So  I did a little re-write to make it suitable for Christmas since T-Day had passed and submitted it.   Rather immediately, back it came with the editor's message that he liked it well enough to run it, but it was only 330 words and the column needs 600+.

My style is to try to convey an idea in the fewest words necessary and having to go back in and "fatten up" a piece is difficult.  Most writers know when they've said all they want to say on a given subject and I'm the leader of the pack.

However the Butler's Guide came to my rescue with a whole new riff on acceptable manners -- respond to an invitation within two days, etc.  With new material to lead off the old article, I made the 600 word count and it ran this morning.  And the new bits that fattened it up?  I used them for yesterday's blog!

My business card should read, "Nina Murphy, Writer and Composter." 

COMMENT:  "How very true."  d.vermillion

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