Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't let your writing be like a yard sale

Last week, we had a yard sale. It's a departure from our routine. We generally donate items to thrift stores — a women's shelter, Habitat for Humanity or a hospice program. I might stop at a yard sale, but I don't have them.

Why the change? Two reasons: baby contraptions and a community-wide yard sale. We had a half-dozen thing-a-ma-jigs that our son outgrew filling up the basement. The neighborhood advertised the yard sale. All I had to do was post a sign at my house, get stuff and open the garage door.

I used my writing techniques to implement the yard sale plan.

Idea —I came up with and committed myself to participating in the yard sale.

Research — I gathered items from closets, under beds, behind doors, in drawers and in the closet to sell.

Write and Organize — I sorted through my ideas (stuff) and decided where it should go. A table of housewares by the garage door. DVDs and books near the back. Baby contraptions lined a wall.

Publish — I opened the garage door for all to see my work.

Reviews — "It's crap." No one said it out loud (or where I could hear it). I felt that's what people were saying when they walked through, touched a few items and then left without making a purchase.

Other folks loved it. They found exactly what they were looking for:  a barely used Yankee Candle for 75 cents. Who knew? I tried to use the "one man's trash is another man's treasure" thought process as I chose things to sell.

Repeat — I generally begin the writing process again after one piece is finished. I will not do that with the yard sale. I packed away all the leftovers, so I can donate them to a local organization.

During one of the yard sale drive bys — where cars slowly drive by deciding whether they really want to stop or not — I decided I do not want my writing to be like a yard sale. While the sale was filled with usable stuff, it wasn't my best stuff. I want to put my best writing out, not the stuff I don't need or just can't find a place for in the house.


  1. Great way to view your writing! When my items don't sell at yard sales, I donate them to Good Will.

  2. Yes Jennifer. Good Will may be seeing me soon.


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