This morning the Significant Other and I were having a discussion about our different work habits. I pointed out that sloppy could be efficient and that if you wait long enough, many problems do just disappear on their own. Yeah, he didn't buy that either.
But the whole "discussion" got me thinking about how I work and all the ways those habits are universal for me. And because it's spring, there are only two things on my mind - my WIP and gardening. I've made a list of ways they're similar:
1. Dev plans, God laughs. I plan, I really do. I write synopses and plot outlines for books and spend long winter hours mapping out my garden. Then, when it's time for the actual implementation of said plans, they go astray very quickly. Something unexpected happens in the story and everything changes. In the garden, my garden partner has taken to calling it surprise gardening because we only know what we planted where when/if it comes up.
2. Sloppy is efficient. I suspect this isn't actually true and that if I could only manage to do things right the first time it would save me a lot. Doesn't happen. I suspect it never will. So I'm sticking to my story that sloppy is best.
3. If you plant it, it will grow. Okay, that's not always true. One year I couldn't get carrots to sprout no matter what I did. But I do know that the converse is true - if you don't plant, it won't grow. Planting stories means always being on the lookout for an interesting starting point, or plot device or character. I tuck them away in my sloppy brain and eventually something sprouts.
4. Gardening and writing are both a fuck of a lot of work. And if I wait for the muse to magically appear, everything withers and dies.
5. They're worth it. Every September I'm exhausted. Every time I hit send on those final page proofs, I'm tired of the damned story. And yet, I'm proud of the work that went in and of knowing I did the best job I could. And by the time I start a new story or Spring comes back around, I'm ready and excited. Watching things grow and mature by the work of my own hands and head? That's addicting.
Periodically I hear about someone else's writing process and I think, hmmm, maybe I should try that. But in the end, I am who I am. And the work gets done. Eventually. And that's good enough. For now.