How is Writing Fiction Like Making Curtains?

This is going to seem like a random story, but bear with me!

The first time I made curtains I was a student in a rented bedsit. I had a massive bay window overlooking a fabulous garden, but the curtains were musty, old and a bit ragged around the edges. So I decided to make some new ones. Well, it’s a good thing there’s no such thing as curtain police! The finished result was amateur in the extreme, but hey, they did the job, and I was delighted with them. :-).

From there I moved to an Edwardian terraced house (at one time they were woodsmen’s cottages) – curtains were simple to make as the windows were small, and they were all the same! No double widths so no difficult cutting or matching required. I made loads of them over the 26 years or so I lived there.

Fast forward to my current home, where the windows are all different shapes and sizes. After making our bedroom curtains (the fabric was awful, it slipped about and those leaves were impossible to match!) I decided never to make curtains again . . . but but here I am, with 9.6 meters of fabric, in the process of making thermal-lined curtains for our kitchen/dining room.

curtain fabric

Gulp! We looked at buying ready-made ones, but the window is not a standard size. 🙁

Four things have helped enormously:

  1. The lady in the fabric shop gave me some invaluable advice about cutting the fabric and a lady on YouTube showed me how to attach the lining to the curtains (so that’s how you’re supposed to do it!!!).
  2. I have set the time aside. (OK, I admit it, I’ve had the fabric for a month and have put it off because it’s easier to do easy things and make excuses . . . but I am doing it now!)
  3. I have made curtains before, albeit simpler – I couldn’t be making these if I didn’t already have some experience.
  4. I have a strong enough reason.

The moral of the story for writing fiction is:

  1. Get some good advice to keep improving your writing skills – that one thing you learn could make all the difference. (Why not go back through the Write for a Reason writing tips, or join the monthly membership programme?)
  2. Set the time aside.
  3. Keep practising – the more you write, the better your writing will be.
  4. Keep your reason for writing in your mind.

Number 4 is vital. We have the best reason in the world for writing. If you don’t write this story, who will? And if you don’t write it, who will miss out? You have a gift and a story that is unique to you. 🙂

And by next week I will have curtains that are unique to me!

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Do you put hard things off sometimes? Do you get disillusioned? Ever temped to say ‘never again’? Let me know in the comments below!

Janet

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