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When You Can't See The Wood For The Trees

On Writing

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
4

We often have problems with things and spend so much time and effort trying to find the solution. We cannot see things that when we see them look so simple. Usually in a work situation you can ask for help from a work colleague and as soon as they come to help you with the problem you see the answer that has maybe been staring you in the face.

I have had a recent vocal post on Vinyl be rejected about five times for non working links. I removed all the links but still it was rejected . I emailed Vocal back asking for them to point out the broken links, but in my mind I was thinking “I have missed something somewhere". I kept looking at it and could not see anything wrong with what was in the article. I was thinking maybe there is a link applied to a zero length character, but am unaware of how I would be able to find the answer.

I did need some links in the article so left them in and tested them, but still the article was being rejected. The accepted article is here.

Anyway the last time I looked I saw the problem glaring at me. There was an incomplete link after the end of the article. The link indicator is very faint and because I was looking at the article rather than the blank space after the article , I was completely missing the failed link.

Having said that , it was still rejected, though I didn’t get an email, so it may be that there was a hidden link. I got the text, put it into Notepad to remove any hidden links or formatting, deleted the original post and rebuilt it from scratch. This is sometimes what you have to do. You need to create a workable deliverable that you can trust and therefore let others have, without fear of an issues occurring.

The lesson here is to look at the whole thing and not just the parts you think matter. The reality is that everything in the piece matters, and therefore everything has to be taken into account.

Not seeing the wood for the trees is the cliché but it is true that sometimes when you stand back, or take advice , or bring someone else in , you may get a new perspective or see the bigger picture.

I have known people who when tackling a problem keep doing the same thing in the hope that it will eventually work. That is not the way forward when you are trying to solve a problem. Having said that there have been times where things seemed to fix themselves without any intervention from me or anyone else, but they are few and far between, and while the end result may be acceptable, if you don’t know why it has worked it should leave you feeling very uneasy.

Sometimes solving a problem may mean taking things apart, however difficult that may seem, but when you finally see what is causing the issue you feel a surge of inner confidence to put things right and know it is going to work. When it does, you have no questions, because you have , so to speak, found the wood and fixed the issue.

So , given what the subject of this post is, I think an appropriate song to go with it is “Them Big Oak Trees” by The Wonder Stuff from their second album “Hup”. I first got into them seeing them on some BBC Live program in the late eighties and the following day went out and bought their first album “Eight Legged Groove Machine” and they are still sort of around today producing some great pop music.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (1)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    This is so true. Sometimes it would be so huge staring at our face and yet we would still miss it 🤣

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