I am a sucker for jigsaw puzzles. My wonderful family got me a couple for Father’s Day, and they have been sucking up my time ever since. I really should be helping humanity by liking Facebook pages and retweeting hashtags. I really should be finishing my novel. But no, I have to be working on this.
Here are the ways that working on a jigsaw puzzle is better than writing fiction:
- Each piece has one and only one place where it goes. Find it, and you’re through with that piece. None of this tiresome moving paragraphs around and changing motivations and fiddling with adjectives.
- When you’re done, you’re done. You don’t have to look at it when you’re finished and think: Maybe that boat on the right should be bigger. Maybe the water in the middle should be a different shade of blue.
- Even one of these hard 1000-piece puzzles only takes about a month in your spare time. You don’t look up at the clock and realize a year has gone by and you’re still not done.
Here are the ways that writing fiction is better than working on a jigsaw puzzle:
- You don’t lose pieces.
- When you finish a jigsaw puzzle, no one asks you to do a sequel.
- Every once in a while you earn a tiny bit of money from your fiction. No one has ever offered to pay me for doing a jigsaw puzzle.
I’d say it’s about a tie.