"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Written Web We Weave – yeah, try to say that three times...

A Spider Web
Photo by Loree Huebner

Every time I see a beautiful spider’s web, I think about my favorite book when I was a child – Charlotte’s Web.
Charlotte was a writing spider. She wrote messages in her web to save her friend’s life. Anyway...there’s one part in the story where her friend, Wilbur the pig, thinks it looks easy to spin a web. He’s sure he can do it. He ties a string to his curly tail, climbs to the highest place in the barn he can find, and jumps.
Well of course, after a hard fall on his face, he figures out that it's not all that easy to spin a web.
Where am I going with this? Well, I recently overheard a conversation where the topic took a turnAnyone can write a book…it’s easy.” This line was spoken by someone who has never attempted the craft, and who has no intention of ever trying to write a book. My mind took the route of Wilbur’s vainglorious leap…wooo-boing-splat! I may have smiled.
When I think of writing, I think of the spider spinning her web…one precious line at a time. We connect each word, each sentence together to spin a story out of our imagination. We must take extra care while weaving each layer to the next strand. Too little thread, it’s weak. Too many threads, it breaks. Each thread must be crafted carefully in accordance with the grand design—just like the spider’s web.
At the time Wilbur made his proclamation that he could spin a web, he didn’t know the work, or the physical and mental effort that went into spinning a web - not to mention, it just wasn’t one of his God-given talents. I'm not giving Wilbur (I loved Wilbur) a bad rap here—in the end of the story he knew how hard Charlotte worked at her spinning, writing, and saving his life. He credits her:
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”
Ever encounter a Wilbur who thinks he can spin a web? Or that it’s easy to write a book?
I would love to hear from you.
Between you, me and the gatepost,

A Spider Web
Photo by Loree Huebner


Sarah Forgrave said...

Oh wow, I LOVE this, Loree! I'm a big fan of Charlotte's Web too and never thought about this comparison. Beautiful!

Sandra Orchard said...

What a wonderful metaphor of a writer's work, Loree! This especially resonated with me, because I use Charlotte in my next book as an example of what the heroine's father sacrificially did for the youth in his care.

Terri Tiffany said...

I have been blessed to not have anyone say it to my face--yet:) Cause after writing 6 novels,I would quickly tell them sit down and try it and make it good cause it is HARD!

Loree Huebner said...

Sarah: Thanks. Love your new website! It's so you!

Sandra: That book is what made me want to write when I was young. The character's were so incredible and the topic was very deep...but made the child in me understand about friendship, and life and death. It's so neat that you're adding Charlotte in your book.

Terri: It's so good to hear from you!!!

I kept my mouth shut at the comment and saw Wibur's leap...I'm with you...it's HARD to write a novel...but so worth it!

Sarah, Sandra, and Terri, thanks for stopping in! Loved your comments.

Brandi said...

I love Charlotte's Web, but I'm scared of spiders, lol! If only they were as pretty and could talk like Charlotte :-)

That person who said writing a book was easy doesn't have a clue. Someone said that to me once when I told him that I was writing a novel. He then proceeded to show me the scrapbook - scrapbook, not written words, mind you) - that he printed and marketed on a self pub website. Don't get me wrong. I know and have bought very excellent books from writers who've gone the self publishing route, but I just found it offensive that this man compared his photo album to a novel. It's just not the same thing!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

This really is the truth!

I've not had anyone come straight out and say writing is easy to me, but I have had looks that certainly imply it. I walk away, thinking how ignorant they really are!

Loree Huebner said...

Brandi: I'm not very fond of real spiders. I usually have to call my hubby or son if I find one in the house. Eeek!

A photo album is not a novel. We all know how hard it is to write a book - and the blood, sweat, and tears we put into it.

Eileen: I walked away when I heard this person say that. It took everything I had in me not to say something...I just let the comment go by.

Brandi and Eileen: Thanks so much for popping in!

Heather Sunseri said...

This is wonderful, Loree. It's that time of year for spiders webs. I, too, think of one of my favorite childhood stories. Love Charlotte's Web.

Loree Huebner said...

Heather: We have spider webs everywhere! eek! Charlotte's Web really woke up the writer in me when I was a child.

Thanks for dropping in.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Loree! I love your word picture! It is beautiful. I've heard people say that writing a book is possible for anyone to do, it just takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I disagree with them on "anyone" but I agree that writing a book is a lot of hard work and dedication. Many who could write a book fall short of commitment, and it does require talent to capture the interest of readers.

Thanks for posting!

Jessica R. Patch said...

I love this post!! That was one of my favorite books and movies.

I don't think it's easy to write a book. I think the idea of writing a book is easy.

I love how you talk about one precious silk strand at a time to spin into a web. That's a great analogy.

Much time went into Charlotte's web and even more time in choosing the perfect word for Wilbur. To encourage, to give him hope, and to inspire him, which is what I think we all want to do as writers! Awesome, Loree!

Loree Huebner said...

Gwen: You are so right. Maybe "anyone" can write a book...but it's not easy. It does take years of hard work and dedication to write a novel.

Jessica: I love that you reminded us how much time went into choosing the perfect word for Wilbur. We do the same...looking for a word to inspire, encourage, and give hope.

Gwen and Jessica, thanks for dropping in and commenting!

Jessica Nelson said...

Nice tie-in, Loree! I've heard of peeps like this but mostly have been hearing people tell me about their ideas. I encourage them to write, but they seem to realize that it is hard work.

Stacy Henrie said...

Cool pictures. Unless you're a writer - or married to a writer :) - I don't think most people understand the hard work and time it takes to write and publish a book. Great post!

Carol Riggs said...

Oh yeah, people always think it's easy. But the longer I write (I've been going at it for a total of 10 years now), the more complex I find it is. What?--character arc? dialogue beats? plot acts? pacing? ;o)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Loree -

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. You've got a nice place here, and I plan to visit as often as I can. :)


Loree Huebner said...

Jessica: You're right about encouraging these people to write. I do believe this person knows how hard it is to write...I just chose to walk away from the conversation. Sometimes you just know when to walk.

Stacy: I'm behind you here. Some people do think it looks easy. But we know how hard it is...all the work and effort it takes.

Carol! Wow! You hit it on the head...the longer we write the more complex it gets. Absoulutely!

Susan: Welcome here! I loved your interview with Jill. You have a wonderful blog. Glad you came by!

Jessica, Stacy, Carol, and Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to pop by and comment.

Marji Laine - Unravel the Mystery said...

Oh, this article is a perfect example of analogies that I'm trying to teach my writing students? May I use it in my class on Friday???

Michelle Teacress said...

I really love your spiderweb/writing connection. What a beautiful way to look at what we do. I'll never look at a spider the same. It will be a reminder for me to keep it up. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Marji: Sure thing. I'm honored.

Michelle: Thanks. Yeah, those creepy little eight-legged things don't seem so creepy if you look at the beauty they create.

Marji and Michelle, thanks for dropping by.

Marji let me know how it goes.

cynthiaherron said...

LOVE "Charlotte's Web", Loree! To this day, I'll always remember when I first saw that classic. Even as a child, I knew that there were certain phrases and key words in that movie that I'd remember always.

And, yes, there are often those that "speak" of writing books. I usually encourage, "You should."

Your picture of the spider's web is beautiful, and I enjoyed your post!

Jess said...

LOVE this post. Yes, I've met a few Wilburs, and I'm kind of sad that they'll probably never really try to write and publish a book, so they'll never have to go splat on the ground. Charlotte's Web is one of my favorites (and Charlotte is my daughter's name :))!

Loree Huebner said...

Cynthia: I've always loved that book! So much depth in a children's novel.

Jess: I love the name Charlotte! How wonderful that you gave your daughter that name.
I always thought that if I was an author...I would take on the pen name of Charlotte. Didn't happen...but still love the name.

Cynthia and Jess, thanks for stopping by!

Ron aka TheOldGeezer said...

The ones I've noticed who spin the biggest and most tangled webs are politician. Oh do they make my head spin!

God bless and have a wonderful weekend :-)

*The Old Geezer Blog

Loree Huebner said...

Geez: haha so true! You have a great weekend!Thanks for popping in!