The Art of Making Hay – Baling

I never got to drive the baler. Bummer.

It was hooked up to a tractor which my dad didn’t think a girl could drive. In this case, he was probably right. So, I never got to drive that tractor. Which means, I never actually baled hay. But I did get to watch plenty of men fight with the cursed machine.

Maniacal laughter here!

Since I could do the baling, I was most likely doing this -- riding my bike. And, take a good look at my jazzy jacket -- dang, I loved that outfit!

Since I could do the baling, I was most likely doing this — riding my bike. And, take a good look at my jazzy jacket — dang, I loved that outfit!

Once again, you work the fields section by section and pick up all the raked hay. The tines of the baler pick up the hay and it goes inside the machine where it is mashed, compressed, and tied. Out of the back fall these cute little rectangular bricks of hay.

Yep, editing is like that.

I’ve often said that you have to puke out the first draft. Just get it down on paper. You can’t work with anything if you don’t first have it written. Once it is, then you start to tighten up your plot, characters, themes, and words. You compress them, distill them down until only what is necessary remains. It’s monstrous work. Unlike baling, you actually get to rethink your writing and can go back to the drawing board if you need to. I take that back. I do remember when my dad got a moisture meter and we went around the field testing several bales. If the moisture was too high, we cut the wire and spread the hay back out to dry and he’d try baling it again in a day or two. Wow, that was almost a memory gone!

Editing is like that too. You have to keep your machinery in good working order, namely your brain. It’s got to remember what happened before and in what order. Chapter by chapter, you will get each one kicked out behind you until you have a whole book.

And, for goodness sake’s, don’t get your arm caught inside the machine.

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