Try, Try Again
By Karla Brandenburg

Sometimes, I’m like a bull in a china shop, although I make the attempt not to do permanent damage and knock things over.

I have a tendency to rush into things, to be in a hurry. This has come to my attention again recently as I 1) started to write this post (I used my original attempt on my personal blog instead), and 2) started on my next novel. I dive in, pour it all out there, and then look at what I’ve done. You know those images you’ve seen of authors tearing the first page from the typewriter, crumpling it up and throwing it away? Yep. I’ve done that twice on my current work (except without the paper waste – I work electronically). I don’t need to tell you the whole story in the first chapter.

I also have experience with programming, and I use that same approach, much to my husband’s chagrin. Trial and error. I work much faster trying and starting over than I do working methodically and planning out each step, and yes, I know that’s not the accepted method for doing things. My husband is the exact opposite. From the standpoint of time spent, we come out at the same endpoint, but for me, I like to think that by trying all the possibilities, I’m learning something in the process – we learn from our failures. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

We went for a walk the other day, and I was brainstorming one of my problems with my husband. He took the opportunity to once again tell me to stop and take my time instead of rushing ahead. We’ve been married long enough that he should know that’s not the way I operate, even if it makes him crazy to watch me. My only defense is that I’ve worked that way for as long as I can remember, the first time being in Kindergarten when the teacher scolded me for working ahead. Once I understand something, I want to learn more, and I’m not patient enough to wait for the rest of the class. It wasn’t until high school that I found a teacher who rewarded that, who actually gave us a syllabus and told us to work at our own pace. (Thank you, Mrs. Ferguson.)

As long as we all get to the same result and I haven’t destroyed any “china dolls” in the process, I have to accept that “working ahead” is my nature, and it works for me. How about you? Are you a planner or a doer?

For a peek at some of the things Karla has “done,” visit her page at