Before I get into my sheep experience, I want to send a shout out to Connie Inglis for her midweek moments. I’m not one to comment much but I do appreciate these uplifting tidbits. After reading about the humming, I realized I’d lost my hum. Working at getting that back. Thank-you Connie and to anyone who hasn’t checked them out, you’re missing a treasure.
My family raises sheep. It was never my plan to get into this but I am so glad we did. Recently, my husband and I attended a sheep conference. I’m not sure if it helped more for raising sheep or for writing. One of the first things that struck me as similar was the concept of culling the herd.
Last year, we had issues with our lamb crop. It was a big job to keep the lambs alive those first few days. We discovered it had to do with the grain we were feeding. We ended up with a few bottle fed lambs. It’s always a temptation to get attached and keep the ewe lambs of this bunch. But at the conference, we were warned not to do it. These sheep started weak and would most likely have weak offspring. They needed to be sold.
It reminded me of a writer friend of mine. He loves little tidbits of knowledge thrown into his manuscripts that he thinks are gems. Often they have nothing to do with the plot. Like the bottle fed lambs, he keeps them because of his own attachment. The strength of the manuscript suffers.
As a writer, it’s important to recognize the things that need to be culled no matter how near and dear to your heart they may be. This can be something as small as a repetitive word or phrase or as big as chapters or characters.
I’m not quite as ready to apply this knowledge to my sheep as my writing. It’s hard to let go of things that mean so much to you. However, I’ve come to understand sometimes to build a strong manuscript, you have to be able to hit the delete button.
|My Miracle Lamb|