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Watch Your Step – Part II

Welcome to part two of our guest post on writer preparedness by Diana C Derringer. Last week, the post included hiking metaphors of focus, shoe fit, proper form, and confidence. Part two includes three more metaphors to strengthen our ability to be ready to write.

(From Part One) Hiking can quickly change from breathtaking scenery to a breathtaking fall. We have to watch our steps. Admiring a fresh blanket of snow on a trip to the mailbox can have the same results. If we grow careless, down we go. In both cases, we know where we want to go but never arrive because we neglect necessary precautions.

Writers must also take precautionary steps to achieve our goals.

And now…

Watch Your Step! (Part Two)

Diana C. Derringer

Fast and Frenzied

If we put on our shoes at the last minute or multi-task while dressing, we can expect problems. We leave laces too loose. We grab shoes with slick soles. Mistakes slip in unnoticed. We need to take our time to achieve the safety, appearance, and approval we desire.

The same applies to writers. Before submissions, I edit a manuscript several times. Then I read it aloud and edit again. After waiting a couple of days, I print it, read it aloud, and edit once more. Recently, because of a last-minute interruption, I cut those steps short. As a result, I overlooked a grammatical error that sets my teeth on edge. I have no doubt it does the same for editors.

Take the time to do it right. Otherwise, you’ll do it over.

Final Fix

Before dashing out the door, a cautious walker completes one last check. Clean, comfortable socks? Check. Appropriate shoes? Check. Shoes securely tied? Check.

Writers who want to get published give manuscripts one last perusal before hitting the submit button or sealing the envelope. That simple precaution caught my previously-mentioned grammatical snafu. I was the only one who saw my misstep — that time.

Make one last check. Collect more checks.

Fear of Failure

How many people plan a walking program but never get out the door? Because we can’t run a 5K, we won’t try a few yards. We give up before we start.

How many writers never write? We read about writing, discuss writing, attend writers conferences, and seek guidance from published writers. Eventually, however, we must take that first step. Whether it’s a poem that’s rattled around in our head for weeks, a short story, an article, or a devotional, we have to start somewhere.

Ignore the fear and trembling. Go forth boldly and write!


Diana C. Derringer is an award-winning writer and author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! Sign up for Diana’s weekly blog posts on Words, Wit, and Wisdom: Life Lessons from English Expressions for some fun and informative word lessons. Visit Diana’s website at: 

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