Writing and Carpentry

23 Jan

I knew nothing about carpentry when I attempted to build my first shed.

It looked like it.

I’ve improved dramatically over the years.

One thing I’ve learned is to make it easy on myself.  Lumber comes in standard lengths.  2x4s come in 8, 10, 12, 14 lengths….and longer….the point being, almost all 2x4s used in building a house or a shed are either eight feet or ten feet in length.  Carpenters plan on this fact . . . the 2x4s are cheaper and they are standard length, meaning no cutting is necessary, and since time is money they are cheaper in that respect as well.

So I now only build structures which utilize those standard lengths. It’s just easier to do so.

The same is true in the construction business.  Ninety-nine out of every one-hundred homes are built using those two standard lengths of 2x4s.  It’s cheaper to do it that way and it is easier.

The one out of one-hundred which does not use standard lengths is considered to be a custom house, and the final sales price on that house is higher and so, too, is the craftsmanship.

There is a lesson about writing in this discussion about carpentry, believe it or not!

If you write novels or articles, do you want your product to be part of that 99 out of 100, or do you want it to be the remaining one which has gone the extra mile of craftsmanship?  Just about anyone with any “game” at all can write a novel.  String 70,000 words together, with some semblance of cohesion, and you have a novel.

But do you have a quality novel?

It’s just something to think about as you go about your writing day.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

24 Responses to “Writing and Carpentry”

  1. Janine Huldie January 23, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

    Great food for writing thought today and thank you always, my friend. Happy Tuesday now 🙂

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 3:13 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Janine! Thank you and have a stupendous Tuesday.

  2. 1authorcygnetbrown January 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm #

    I had a friend who used to build buildings like some people write their novels. He could take a perfectly good piece of wood and make it look like trash.

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

      LOL…that, Donna, made me laugh! Yes, I’ve known people like that.

  3. Sarah Potter Writes January 23, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

    Apart from being a musician, my hubbie has a woodwork and furniture restoration business. He likes to call himself a craftsman, and is at his happiest solving woodworking puzzles involving non-standard measurements. He recently erected a canopy over our side corridor, which required some adaptation to the manufacturer’s installation instructions, so out came the angle grinder and various other tools. In my experience, novel-writing requires the literary equivalent of an angle grinder, plus chisels, hammers, and spirit-levels, etc! As you know, I’m a perfectionist, which makes me a very slow writer unless there’s deadline (preferably one imposed upon me, rather than one that I set myself!). Are you back to writing your novel yet — Mr Craftsman, Bill?
    Wishing you a spendidly productive week, my dear friend 🙂

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 4:33 pm #

      Great example, Sarah! I would love to watch your hubbie at work in his shop. I find that stuff fascinating.

      No, no novel-writing yet. I’m too busy making money while it is available to me. Soon, though; the story is speaking to me once again, so I need to answer the call.

      Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday evening from rainy Olympia!

  4. madebymejournals January 23, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

    Long time billy!

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm #

      A long time for sure, my friend. I hope you are well.

  5. Michael Milec January 23, 2018 at 6:48 pm #

    Very practical explanation my friend. You have done it because you wanted to. Carpentry is easy. While contemplating becoming a “carpenter” – (evolving into a homebuilder)- my motto was “none of them is a two-head monster”. If they can do, i can do it too… Comparing to writing , virtually the same , requires time, dedication and a good will..

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

      Michael my friend, I thought of you when I wrote this. I knew you would understand. 🙂 Blessings always!

  6. MartieCoetser January 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    I take my hat of to all who are able to create something, whether it is a shed, a dress, a blanket, a painting or a novel. And, of course, the end product has to fall in that 1% category: Unique and admirable, proving that the creator has gone the extra mile of craftsmanship.

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

      I love that comment, Martie! Gone the extra mile for sure, my friend. Thank you!

  7. Mike January 23, 2018 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi Bill – I recently saw a quote attributed to Stephen King. It went something like, creativity is everywhere, hard word is what sets you apart. Perhaps the same message here, craftsmen will be noticed.

    • Billybuc January 23, 2018 at 10:52 pm #

      We can only hope that’s true, Mike. If it is, you are about to become famous.

  8. Sageleaf January 24, 2018 at 2:43 am #

    Big Bro, your words are wise – as they always are. 🙂 This is one reason I haven’t published much: I sure have strung 60K, 70K, 80K words together in multiple novels but the one I put out wasn’t really satisfactory to me. None of them is. I won’t publish again until I feel I have a quality read: suspense, a tight story…but it’s fun practicing until I get there. 🙂 Ha!
    Enjoy building all those structures. Better you than me. 😀 If I did it, it would fall over and it would be tragic for everyone. lol

    • Billybuc January 24, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

      Lil Sis, if you set your mind to it, you could build structures too. I know you could simply because you are driven at whatever task you take on. How’s that for brotherly faith in your abilities? 🙂 Hugs!

  9. phoenix2327 January 24, 2018 at 11:30 am #

    You picture of your first novel reminded me it’s been a while since I read it. Guess what I’ll be reading for the rest of the week? 🙂

    • Billybuc January 24, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

      Aww, that’s so nice of you, Zulma. Thanks for doing that…maybe we’ll read it together this week just for the hell of it.

      • phoenix2327 January 25, 2018 at 6:42 pm #

        I started reading 12/59 Shuttle at lunchtime today and I’m more than halfway through it. It’s just as engaging now as when I first read it. If I didn’t know any better, I would never guess that this is someone’s debut novel. One thing though, why did you change the cover? The original seemed more in touch with the text.

      • Billybuc January 26, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

        Zulma, if I remember correctly, the new cover was a result of transferring the original book onto CreateSpace….there was a problem with downloading the original cover. Nice catch and I agree with you.

  10. Manatuta January 24, 2018 at 3:37 pm #

    You’re pretty good with your comparisons, Mr Carpenter. Cool!!

    • Billybuc January 24, 2018 at 6:03 pm #

      Thanks buddy! I try my best. 🙂

  11. Emese-Réka January 24, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

    This makes me think of knitting and writing. I have never been able to follow a pattern, but most knitters do and they create beautiful things that way. I just make it up as I go, and sometimes it turns out great, sometimes not so great, but it sure is unique. And that’s what I value most, in craftsmanship, as well as in writing. I heard it’s much easier to follow a pattern. I heard written works have specific word counts to follow so they can be categorized. But the unique, when it finally is good, always stands the test of time. Thanks for reminding me of this.

    • Billybuc January 25, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

      Emese, your comment should be required reading for all who are in the Arts. Excellent thoughts!

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