Writing Frustrations and Bird Poop

Bird poop is not pleasant. It’s messy, and one of the worst offenders around here right now are the robins.


Once winter is on the wane, I’m always delighted to welcome the earliest robins. They’re harbingers of spring, after all, and that makes me smile. By summertime, however, I’ve begun to tire of the white accumulations that adorn our deck railings and outdoor furniture, and I’m no longer smiling.

Robins are pretty, and they sing a sweet song, I’ll give them that. But they don’t eat birdseed. The lawn and garden are their kitchen source for earthworms and berries. The only appeal our deck apparently has for them is as a bathroom… a place to perch and deposit their doo-doo, which I don’t-don’t like! Someone had a warped sense of humour when they named the species ‘Turdus migratorius’.

We had 45 people coming here last night for a church barbecue. In preparation, we had pulled weeds and tidied the gardens. Hubby power-washed the deck, and I wiped down the lawn furniture. You get the picture. We wanted things to be neat and clean for our guests, and it was… until late-afternoon, just before the first guests arrived, when Mr. Robin Redbreast dropped in and dropped. Ackkk!!! It was too late to get out the hose, but there was no point in stressing over little blobby things, as maddening as they were. I found a rag, cleaned them away as best I could and carried on, soon forgetting all about the annoyance and enjoying a wonderful evening with friends.

The writing application that occurred to me later had to do with not overstressing about little things. No point in grinding to a halt  when the wrong words deposit themselves on the page during a first draft. Better to look at the overall picture, get on with the job and worry about cleaning up the messy bits during revision. There are bound to be more messy bits before it’s done and we’re ready to put the manuscript out on display anyway.

In future, when I’m getting really frustrated, maybe I’ll try and remember to mutter, “Oh, poop!!!” then have a laugh and get back to work.

What’s your method of banishing first draft frustrations?

~  ~  ~


10 thoughts on “Writing Frustrations and Bird Poop

  1. Judith Robl says:

    There will always be messy bits. We live in an imperfect, even fallen, world. Aren’t we grateful that the responsibility for cleaning all the messy bits isn’t ours. (Writing application: find a trustworthy editor.) 🙂

  2. Helga Bolleter says:

    I can relate! We have the same problem, only with Blue Jays. I bet their doo-doo is even nastier than your Robins’. But I have no one to blame but myself, because I started feeding them peanuts in the shell long ago. Now they even wake me up, knocking on the bedroom window when their peanuts haven’t arrived on the porch early on. No point stressing over it though as you say.

    • Carol says:

      Your story reminds me of one of my mother’s. My parents lived in a wilderness area and would buy peanuts in the shell by the 100# sack to feed to the squirrels. Should the daily supply run out, the squirrels would scramble around on the bedroom window screen, making a racket, until Mom got up and replenished the feeder.

  3. lauradroege says:

    What do I do with first draft frustrations? Remember that it’s not the LAST draft, so there’s always hope that the 2nd draft will be better. Plus, I remember that words (even crappy words) can be edited but a blank page cannot.

    • Carol says:

      I agree, Laura… it’s important to remember it’s okay for a first draft to be rough around the edges. Getting bogged down in perfection at that stage isn’t helpful.

  4. I love first drafts. Especially once they’re finished. I can’t explain the exhilaration. The ms is finished and now the editing begins. Can you hear me cheer? That’s because I’m still writing the first pooping draft! Oh well. LOL

  5. Great analogy–first draft boo-boos and bird poops!
    I walk away or even sleep on my first drafts–I’m fresher in a new day, and can spot those poops and clean them up after a good night’s sleep.

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