I’ve Got a Shiny New Tool in My Toolbox!

If you’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing (and if you haven’t, why not?), you’ll know that he talks about a writer needing tools in her toolbox. I’ve always loved this image. My particular toolbox is one of those clanky, metal ones that can be lugged from place to place, not the one like my father owns that sits on the floor in the workshop. I can take mine with me, open it up, and pull out tools as I need them. Some of them are a little rusty – my grammar and comma usage, in particular, really need some buffing. But I’m working on that – a grammar blog (http://www.dailygrammar.com/) drops a lesson into my e-mail every day.

My newest tool is shiny and unused, given to me by Joan Dempsey. I recently participated in one of her editing workshops. Ms. Dempsey puts a lot of information out there and getting the most from it involved a fair amount of sitting and thinking about my process. It was enlightening. And let me tell you, my process is pretty scattershot. I’m of the NANO School of Writing – throw that shitty first draft down as quickly as possible and then go back and edit and edit and edit. And edit. Then edit some more.

But after going through the workshop process and analyzing my way of working, I have a shiny new tool — a checklist specific to my needs and way of working. I KNOW! What a concept!

I can’t wait to break it out.