Friday, March 16, 2012

The Analogy Wars

Katie Mills aka Creepy Query Girl has thrown down the challenge with the following analogy prompt and we have answered.

Writing is like picking a check-out line at the grocery store…just when you think the hard part is over, you realize you still have to pay.

But you have three options.

Self-Checkout, or Self-Publishing, can be a total shot in the dark.  For some it may work out fine.  Your products might not be as professionally packaged or bagged, and you may accidentally put a can of Bush's Steakhouse recipe baked beans on top of your whole wheat bread or placed semi-colons where all your commas should be, but you have no one to blame but yourself.  And you didn't have to tip the bag boy or give anyone a percentage of the profits, did you?

The Express Lane or the POD/Indie route is not one I am that familiar with.  About the only time I get to use this line is if I decide at the last minute I can't cope with another family get-together without a cheap bottle of grocery store wine.  I imagine the appeal is that the line is shorter and the process much quicker.  

The Cashier Lane or Traditional Publishing is my choice.  If you would rather have a professional scan your items and make sure there isn't a gaping hole in your bag of sugar this is the only way to go.  I don't think checking out or being published as fast as possible should ever be the ultimate goal.  It's not like we really have ice cream melting in our cart.  And I've met some of the most interesting people in this line...

This post proves that everything in our life can be turned into a writing analogy.


  1. Theses are great. Man, look a the line at the traditional checkout though. We're gonna be in line al day! does mean plenty of time to check e-mail on the phone and maybe play a game of Angry Birds while we wait.

    Oh, and when you do get to the register, don't let them bag those semi colons in with your eggs. They're too heavy and you might end up with leaking yolk everywhere. :))

  2. Interesting analogy. Great picture choice.

  3. wow! awesome awesome analogy! Loved this!

  4. Love your answer.

    One thing I've always found is everyone goes to the Express Lane, sure it's the quick way, and yet often there'll be a regular cashier with just one person to go.

    By the time I'm out the door, the guy I could've gotten behind in the Express Lane is still waiting.

    So sometimes what looks like the long haul is actually the easiest way to go.

    (Geesh, these analogies are contagious.)

  5. excellent - and you're right; there are some awesome people in that big fat line :)

  6. Awesome post! And I like the Cashier Lane as well, because even though the wait might be a little longer, you get actual service. Like a bag, and someone to help you when you try and swipe your credit card the wrong way, and you don't accidentally shoplift anything and get tackled by security in the car park.

    Okay, the last one has never happened to me, but I'm always afraid it will.

  7. Great analogy. What an awesome way to explain it, too. I love the idea of the self-checkout lane, and I'm glad it's there for other people, but it's not for me. I'm with Jen - I'm always afraid I'm going to accidentally do something wrong and get arrested for shoplifting.

  8. LOL @ B.E. -- so glad I'm not the only one!

    Marsha, I've tagged you for the Lucky 7 meme on my blog next time you're over there.

  9. "This post proves that everything in our life can be turned into a writing analogy."

    Ha! Yes, but well done. :)

  10. Great analogy, and so true! However, I have a lot more luck in the self checkout at the grocery store than with self publishing... I think I'll stick with traditional too (at least for books).


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.