Productivity The Writing Life

We Reap What We sew

Yeah. I know.

I made an error in the title. It is one of the spell-checker OKs that a quick edit would let slide and then, I’m a loser writer-wanna-be.

However, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen this very phrase. Not in random comments on Twitter or FaceBook, but as front and center titles in expensive online presentations.


Somebody paid a lot of money to some writer or writers to make a dynamite package. And this glaring title error kept my attention instead of the next couple of paragraphs.

Why would they not catch this faux-pas?

“Sew” is to stitch pieces of fabric or leather together into larger pieces.

The correct word is “Sow” which means to plant seeds into the ground so they can germinate and grow.

Reaping is the harvesting of a crop. You can’t reap clothing.

But, we writers indeed stitch together words and sentences and ideas to sew from full cloth a story.

I guess we really do reap what we sew.

However, we also reap what we sow.

I intend this to mean we reap our habits from the practice we engage in.

Writers write. But, if we don’t write, then we aren’t writers, but dreamers.

We have to build up a habit of writing by writing habitually. Whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours, writing every day is the foundation of a writer’s life. At first, it doesn’t even matter what we write, or how long.

Just write every day.

Make your schedule, and meet your obligation to write. That’s what a Pro does. Goes to work.

If you give in to an excuse this day, then you are building a habit of avoiding writing. That is the wrong habit. That’s what Amateurs do.

As you persevere, and write more and more every day, you will pay more attention to what you write,. You’ll build proper sentences, catch spelling mistakes like sew/sow. Your typing speed and accuracy will improve.

Like a muscle, this habitual practice will make you a better writer.

We also need to build the habits of conducting research, marketing our skills, securing our network. These habits are just as important to our writerly success as the actual writing is.

If we sow these productive habits, we will reap success. If we sow avoidance and dissipation, we will reap failure.

It’s really only up to us. Nobody else can do it for us. Our writer’s life depends on our persistence at sowing good habits.

How do you build your habits?

By John Larson

John is an experienced small business owner, management consultant, project manager, and family man. John has been married since 1967 to the same beautiful bride. He has two sons and eight grandchildren. He makes his home in Carlton, Oregon, USA.

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