Waste Not, Want Not — Brenda Wood

Because I am a stasher beyond compare, I plan to make Nancy Zieman’s no-sew fabric wreath. You see, it will use up all those leftover bits and pieces from my fabric stash. I can’t bear to throw them away because they are so pretty. Realistically though, they are too small for an apron and not numerous enough for a quilt design.

The same thing is true of our scribbles. As my Granny used to say, “Waste not, want not.” Today as we tackle waste in our lives, we might be surprised to see how many ways we waste our time, talents and tenacity.

How many times do we jot down the perfect phrase, full of symbolism or powerful words, but eventually toss it because we just can’t find the right place for it in our novel? Or do we see a colourful word picture in our mind, but we don’t get it onto paper fast enough and POOF! It’s gone, never to be recovered.

Never let a thought get away. It might become the final scene of that three-act play we are slaving over. If nothing else, it makes a great go-to on our social media site.

While we are talking computer, Facebook and Twitter will survive without our comments on the current political leader’s failings, the cuteness of horses, babies and kitty cats or the latest gossip on who is dating who. Stop taking all of this to heart. Stay offended and write another two pages. Why not throw our angst into the latest quarrel between our romance novel lovers? Frankly, let’s stop wasting our time being offended—over absolutely anything.

Perhaps we waste our time on TV blather and mindless sitcoms. If we aren’t writing them or about them, or don’t need a FEW minutes of diversion, they suck hours out of our writing day. Now if you are getting paid to write those sitcoms, that’s a whole other story, but you and I both know we aren’t, so no more excuses.

Do we sit in front of our computer, feigning work but shopping online or gaming and calling it research? That “waste not, want not” line also applies to what we do with our imagination. Let’s stop using it on faraway dreams about possible online lottery wins. Face the truth. That is most unlikely. More likely we will miss the date of our first paid magazine article and consequently the loss of any future submission contracts.

Poor writing costs everybody something. We lose our self-esteem when we don’t give our best. It may be something as seemingly insignificant as a church bulletin, but if readers find it boring, confusing or dull, they don’t get the message.

By the way, are we sleeping our writing life away? No regular schedule often turns into irregular hours, disorganization and absolute sloth. People have been saying waste not, want not for centuries, but still waste their best resource; themselves.

Let’s ask ourselves some serious questions. Will this renew my inner self? Am I using it to avoid the real job at hand? Will this help me meet my personal deadlines? Am I dreaming but never doing? When I’m working, am I really working or just playing pretend?

Remember that wreath? Together, those small bits of fabric added up to something beautiful. What leftover bits of time, talent and tenacity can we gather up out of our day to do the same?


BrendaJWoodBrenda Wood, motivational speaker & author


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1 comment

  1. Pauline Miller says:

    I feel like this was written just for me! Thanks for the kick in the pants.

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