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I am not one of those writers who can work all day and into the night, finishing a manuscript in a matter of weeks. I need to pace myself, giving my mind a chance to work through the many problems one encounters in the course of writing a novel.

In August, we got plenty of rain and hot weather, so there were many uninvited plants scattered around my property.  After a morning of sitting at the computer, I find weeding good for my back as I squat on my haunches and stretch my muscles in ways I don’t when I’m writing. And I like getting my hands dirty literally as opposed to only figuratively. Weeding, or doing any other repetitive task for that matter, gives my subconscious a chance to mull over the book I’m writing.

When I’m not writing, I often think about the process of writing. As I remove weeds, I realize how I not only weed like I write – attacking problems a little at a time – but I also weed like I edit. There’s nothing like a weak or misplaced word or phrase to kill a good sentence. When I pull a weed out of the ground, I try to get the entire root. When I do I know I won’t have to worry about that weed coming back again. It’s like when I finally get a sentence right. I know it is because no matter how many times I read it after, I don’t change it.

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