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Opinion: Why Writing Is Like Jewellery Making

Opinion: Why Writing is Like Jewellery Making

head shot of Fiona Cameron

Scottish indie author Fiona Cameron

We're kicking off this week with a succinct post about one self-published author's approach to her writing. When Scottish novelist Fiona Cameron drew an analogy between writing and jewellery making on our Facebook page (one of the ALLI-members-only privileges), her comparison really resonated with our members. We'd love to know your own preferred analogy for your writing or self-publishing process, so do feel free to add your perspective via the comments box.

I make jewellery as a hobby, and it struck me this morning that my approach to writing a novel is akin to my approach to stringing beads: I like to lay out the prettiest ones on my design tray, then arrange and rearrange them until I get the look I'd envisaged.

bead board for planning necklace designs

Only then do I get to the nitty-gritty of stringing…

completed strings of beads

and – last, but possibly the most satisfying part – choosing suitable fastenings, & fitting them on securely, so that nothing wobbles or rattles or comes adrift and the entire effect is just right.

statue modelling completed necklaces

That's why I'd be lost – TOTALLY lost – without Scrivener. I don't plot, CAN'T plot in detail (nothing dries out the well of inspiration faster, for me), but I have a very clear idea of the shape and colours my story's going to be.

So Scrivener is my design tray, and on a day when I don't feel like writing a blue bead, I can write a pretty pink one, or even just a tiny, plain silver one, and shuffle to my heart's content before I need to commit to making that necklace.

Scrivener logo

So many shapes and colours and textures to choose from! But of course, another advantage of Scrivener is that you can tuck all the unused beads into the “research” folder, for use on another project. Nothing’s ever wasted, even if it stays in the bead-box for years!

(For more information about Scrivener, visit the Literature and Latte website. Other writing software is available.)

OVER TO YOU Do you have a hobby or interest that inspires or cross-fertilises your writing? We'd love to hear about it!

Why #writing is like jewellery making - by indie author @fionacamwriter with honorable mention for @ScrivenerApp Click To Tweet


Author: Fiona Cameron

Fiona Cameron was born in Glasgow, and has worked as a lecturer, journalist and PR consultant. She now lives in SW Scotland, and tries hard to fit her writing day around tending cats, dogs and a garden. Her short stories have previously been published in New Fiction collections. The books forming the Balvaig Trilogy are her first full-length novels. www.fionacameronwriter.com


This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Never thought of my two passions as being alike……..but this just makes sense. Love the analogy. Now If I can just get my writing to be as beautiful as my jewelry making life would indeed be sweet.

  2. For me, writing is like making a quilt. But then I’m a quilter.

    I suspect a lot of creative processes have a lot more in common than people realize.

  3. I love this analogy, and I want all of those beautiful necklaces! 🙂

    I’m a plotter myself, but right at the moment I’m rearranging a design to add beads of a totally new colour at regular intervals (chapters from a new POV), so I know just what you’re talking about!

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