DontCutCorners

Don’t cut corners.

So, this weekend has been busy.

As I prepare for my family to visit next week, revel in my newfound energy now that my morning sickness has mostly subsided (my husband warns me against making that claim because every time I do I seem to puke later that night–let’s put that to the test), and enjoying the nice weather, my Partner in Crime and my father-in-law have been putting up the tile in our new bathroom! Okay, it’s not a new bathroom. It’s the new bathtub nook. Either way, it’s gonna be beautiful (you can see a sneak peek up in the picture above!).

Long story short, we bought the house we’re in and discovered a slew of issues soon after (like the fact that our septic line was clogged by giant tree roots–and that giant tree-roots had messed up the driveway and that our insurance needed that fixed before they’d cover us, and that, unhappily, our master bath leaked into the basement every time we both showered in the morning). That last one is the latest job on our to-fix list, so we’ve spent the last month demolishing the old bathtub space to make room for the new one.

Essentially, whoever had built the house in 1991 had taken a few liberties, particularly in the bathroom. I’m not super familiar with how bathrooms are supposed to be made, but I guess they slapped tile right on top of sheetrock (bad thing, I guess?) and then didn’t properly seal that tile at the seams on the side. That meant, over time, water seeped through the tile and into the sheetrock, which then seeped back into the wood, which then eventually developed a drip-system straight to our basement. After having a septic line back up with dirty dishwasher runoff (which is, admittedly, better than the alternative), I think my basement has seen enough water, thanks.

Anyway, as they work on that, I’m down in said basement to get away from the heat and the noise from upstairs working on this blog post, and you know what? I have something I need to tell all you writers that has become more than painfully evident to me throughout this whole process:

When you commit to building something, don’t fucking cut corners.

And not just when you commit to building a physical thing, like a house or a boat or a coffin. If you commit to building a painting–if you commit to building a record album or a novel–you need to commit fully and not take shortcuts just because it’s “easier” or because you’d get done more “quickly.” I know it’s tempting–I know this because so many people in so many fields, creative and otherwise, do it–but seriously, it’s not worth your time. Sure, it may be done more quickly, and it may hold up for a while, but things will fall apart way more quickly if you take the easy road rather than just getting it done right the first time.

Think about it. If you cut a ton of corners when you’re writing your book, the editing, revising, and rewriting necessary to get that book up to publishing standards is gonna take a lot longer than if you’d just done it right the first time. If you get to a scene, and you know that scene isn’t really working but you don’t really want to revise it, or edit it, or go through the brainstorm you’d need to do to figure out how to rewrite it to be as awesome as you want it to be, you’re going to regret it later when the rest of the book comes together but that scene is still lacking. You’ll regret it even more if editing that one scene ends up making such huge changes to your plotline you have to rewrite the rest of the book anyway.

(I know this because I did it, after learning the hard way several years ago.)

Take it from a woman who is sick and tired of having to fix the lazy things people did when building her house–just effing commit, get it done as close to perfectly the first time as you can, and you’ll be way happier in the long run.

Cheers,
–MC

Categories: My Life, Opinions and Rants, Writing

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