Creating something from nothing

Karalee’s Post #77

The last three weeks have been out of routine for me as I’ve been helping my friend care for her hobby farm while she is away taking her 96 year-old invalid father to Cuba. Silk was saying that 60 is the new 40, but once you are in your 90’s it’s pretty hard to look or act as a 70 year old.

I take my hat off to my friend knowing that she’s in the rare group that would tackle such a task of organizing beforehand and taking care of her father while away. It is definitely a trait to consider in a character I may develop one day.

I’ve taken time to write and I also offered to build a couple of vegetable boxes so my friend can have her first outdoor garden since moving here a good 20 years ago. It is for her  to enjoy as well as her adult children and grandchildren when they have their yearly vacation on the farm.

Today I literally made something from nothing, much like the writing process and starting with the infamous blank white page.

1. Start with an idea and toy with “what if’s” and “where it can take place” and gather information and tools as you start to outline (or write if you are the type that delves right in)






2. Start developing your characters and start building the foundation of your story.







Often at this point for me ideas come fast and furious and it’s exhilarating to start writing and see where they go. During these creative bouts it doesn’t take long to get a good number of scenes written and feel some accomplishment. That’s how I felt when I had my first vegetable box finished. Full of enthusiasm, I sent a picture to my friends on Facebook, much like sending a submission to my writing group.







My visions of grandeur were short-lived when I got feedback that the box wasn’t in a spot that suited everyone that uses that space, so I found out.

That’s what happens in submission in our writing group too. Some things work, others don’t, and not always the same feedback from everyone.

So back to the drawing board and I take down the newly constructed box and move it farther up towards the back of the garage. I also put the second one beside it. Back here is a good spot too as it still gets lots of sun. It’s less convenient for watering and tending to, but on the other hand they are now visible from down in the barn, so the perspective changes and adds to the enjoyment of the property.

The foundation is now complete.

To me this would be like finishing my character development and outline of a book.




For this garden, next comes the soil which needs to be the right texture and mix of nutrients. Then one needs to decide what to grow and plant the seeds or transplant seedlings. When the garden grows, it is for all to enjoy.

In writing a novel, next comes the actual writing and editing, more submissions to our writing group, more re-writing, etc. until I have a finished product. At that point, it will be for readers to enjoy.

I’ve had a day of physical labour. I feel good although tired and I have a blister from screwing in screws.

That’s like writing for me too. Have you ever written so much in one day that the tips of your fingers are a bit sore and feel like you’ve worn the skin off?

Happy writing!




2 thoughts on “Creating something from nothing

  1. Great post Karalee! I love making something out of nothing too — I think it’s about the joy of inventing something as you go along, rather than just following a set of instructions.

  2. I got your FB posts, and responded that the physical labor part (as opposed to the creativity part) is a downer to me. But you develop characters in the beginning, while you’re developing your story. I get my story first, then create characters to tell it or be in it. I’m in the minority on this, from what I understand, so maybe creative people tend to like physical labor that’s creative. Blisters, on the other hand, have no useful purpose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s