Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How a building a house is different than writing a book

I'm attempting to compare two skills which probably nobody in their right mind would compare.
I've had the privilege of being my own general contractor for building this house, and I want to compare that to working on a book, something I'm more familiar with.

Each requires commitment and creativity.
Either job takes about a year from concept to reality but involve a few months of fairly intense effort.
But how are they different?
Let's see...

When you leave a few holes in your plot, there's no worry about a leaking roof sometime later.

Crows don't watch you when you are writing a book.

When it's pouring rain, you can still work on a book (provided your computer is indoors, you doorknob)

There's nothing dangerous about using your word processor carelessly.

Unlike your friendly carpenter, your editor would get pretty ticked if you called them for advice several times a week.

You don't need protective clothing to write a book. In fact you don't need to get dressed at all.

The building inspector doesn't care if he's seen the same design a few times before - he'll accept it anyway.

If your concrete truck is coming that morning, you can't stop and go for a coffee.

You welcome all kinds of help when you're building a house.

Everyone sees the job you did today, and yesterday and the day before that - good or not.

In house building, you can't redo the beginning parts a few more times to get it right. They're probably covered with drywall.

Unlike an editor, when you call a sub-contractor you don't have to wait a few months to hear back from them.

At no point are you obliged to climb a ladder when working on a book.

There's usually not enough trash left over for a decent garbage fire when you're writing a book.

The coffee truck doesn't come around to your house at 10:30 when you're writing.

You get to choose the outside colour and design when you build a house. With a book you're lucky if the cover has something to do with the plot.

Where writing is painful, so is hitting your thumb with a hammer - for the second time that day.

Your best friends are the people who drop by when there's something heavy to lift.

With a book you need to be creative, but with a house, the fact that joists line up properly is more important than creativity.

You can work on your book anytime you don't have to wait for daylight. You can even take your book (in your laptop) to Tim Horton's and work in there. Try doing some construction work in Timmy's sometime.

Post a few more ideas for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment