Something to think about:
My stepfather, a custom home builder, taught me the basics of carpentry: “measure twice, cut once.” Sounds simple enough, but it takes discipline and an investment in time to slow down and repeat the measurement, and the power saw can be unforgiving. Many are the boards wasted by a few mismarked millimeters. The lesson stuck with me, and I think about the concept often in other areas of my life, including my writing and editing.
For this prompt, I encourage you to slow down and measure twice. We are writers. We have stories to create. That creation requires an investment in ourselves, a belief in our ideas, a commitment to the hard work of writing so that we may communicate our creative babies effectively to others. In the words of Henry Miller, “open up…discover what is already there.”
Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there. Henry Miller, “Why Don’t You Try to Write?”, Henry Miller on Writing.
Writer’s Workshop I prompt:
Use the prompt “measure twice, cut once” to inspire a short story, 150-300 words long, fiction (any genre) or nonfiction allowed. Your response should be in first/second draft form. Don’t worry about putting that final polish on it. We will be working on it throughout the month.
Have fun! Feel free to share thoughts, questions, or even a few words about your writing process or approach to the prompt in the comments below. Be sure to share your prompt response. I will link to all responses in my post for Week 2, but I won’t grab them until Friday.
Hint: Next week’s challenge will play off your response to this prompt and address the concept of “cutting once.”
©2020 Tanya Cliff