Writer's Tool Box

Patience Bears Fruit: Building a Back List by Looking Back!

I’m loving me some David Austin ROSES!

Check it out, peeps. The hedge is exploding. But careful tending is still required. I’m pruning deadheads to make room for new growth while exhausted blooms are put to good use.

Am I making compost?

Nope.

Fun, fragrant, and great for a soak!

Bath salts! I started making self-care products when my kiddos were small. It was a great craft project and a reasonable alternative to high cost purchases, especially when second-hand grinders etc. are readily available. (Not that I don’t love me some LUSH products. Can’t beat their bath bombs.)

LUSH bath bombs are like no other. Try them. Your skin will THANK you!

But saving things is what I do. Maybe too much. I feel the same way about my manuscripts. Tossing things out – snippets of dialogue, description, colorful characters, etc. – gives me the willies. So the metaphorical hedge in my mind – and my file cabinet — is filled with future flowers.

This may seem to contrast with my earlier advice to prune extraneous projects, but a writer like any other human being needs to hold on to those things that feed the soul. Crafting is my catnip and often the delight of my eyes. Colors, textures, and patterns fuel my creative brain. I look at my tickle files the same, those safe places where I’ve tucked away old manuscripts. (Part of my future back list, set aside but not forgotten.) These beloved pages, sometimes frozen in stasis, sometimes left to age on purpose, will be repurposed.

All that’s needed is patience, tending, and a careful eye to pick through the trove. The best new book idea is often right there in your previous efforts, just waiting for you to bring new skills to the table.

Write on!

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