Metaphors for the Creative Writing Process #1

Excavating then taking out the roots (aka “underground branches”) of this stump.

tree roots

First, I dug down around the stump, then excavated the roots using a small shovel and pointed stick so that I could see where the roots went, which were holding the stump in firmly, and so on. These were some big roots and would require something more than my standard pickaxe and hacksaw. A chainsaw took out the top of the tree, but I no longer had access to it.

Ultimately, I managed to get the roots out using a small electric saw, a pickaxe, large gardening shears, and a pointed stick (which I also used for a good portion of the excavating). I had to decide which parts to attack with which tool and in what order. And then, once I finally got all the pieces out of there, the chore wasn’t complete until I covered the whole thing back up with dirt.

So looking at that patch of cleared ground now, there’s little clue to the degree of work that went into it. This is probably the part that most resembles the writing process.

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