Don't Forget the Details (in life and in writing)

Saturday, June 11, 2016
I visited our local Starbucks a few days ago. I don't stop often anymore, and when I do, I go through the drive through. At one time, I stopped every morning, knew the Barista's by name, and would have told you all the reasons Starbucks brought joy and sunshine to my life. Since that time, there has been turnover, price increases, and things have gotten less personal. I do however still look forward to my little cup of joy. This time of year that cup is cold and includes a dollop of whip cream at the top. We stopped to celebrate the end of another successful school year. Our two school age children and myself were excited to partake in a cool, delicious, sweet, treat.

"Here is the first mini smore's creme," he said as he handed the beverage out the drive through window.

"Looks like I'll need napkins please. It's dripping." I said with a smile (still hopeful).

"Oh, um...hang on...I'll get you - oh, just give it to me and I'll wipe it off," he said impatiently.

I complied.

"Here is the second one and I wiped this one off," he said, handing me two drinks and two straws.

"Thank you. I appreciate it. It's less mess for the kiddos," I said with a smile. (After all, I saw the woman who handed the drinks to him. It wasn't his fault at all. Although...I'm sure there's got to be something in their training about quality and presentation.)

"And here's the last one," the young man said as he handed me a drink that had slush dripping down the side, onto his hand, and down his arm.

"Well, looks like I'll be needing those napkins after all," I said as I raised my eyebrows in disbelief.

"Here." He hands me a stack of napkins and I'm on my way.

I shook my head and veered into a parking spot where I wiped off my drink using the entirety of 3
napkins. I felt satisfied that things were clean and I took a sip of my still delicious beverage. I was frustrated, but still enjoying the moment. You would think by spending over $15 on 3 drinks you might not have to do some of the customer service yourself, but oh well...(and yes, I even left a tip on top of the $15).

A few miles down the road, my daughter starts laughing. She knows how annoyed I get at sticky or drippy beverages and as my frapuccino warmed with the heat from my hands, the mess under the lid dripped and I had a chocolatey sweet mess on the front of my shirt. It WAS funny because we were going home and I have a wardrobe of clean clothes. I laughed, she laughed, and in my head I started thinking about how attention to detail could have greatly improved my experience. Details matter in life as much as they do in writing.

A clean beverage feels worth more than one dripping with soda or coffee. A tremendous clap of thunder followed by lightening bright enough to make it look like noon has a totally different feel than "a storm." When I write, I try to include as much detail in my first draft, but find myself adding, re-adding, and adding again during the proofing process. Details simply make things better.

When do you add the details to your work? What details matter most to you? Do you have an example of a time when you might want less detail? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments on this post. We love to hear from you!

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 7, Breccan 2, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at: and


iamagemcrystal said...

Sorry for the just noticed typos friends. You'll get a chuckle (I hope) over yesterday's writing conditions. Wisconsin had awful storms and our power went out while I was writing. My amazing husband hooked up the tractor powered generator so I could finish this article. I was in a rush and apparently didn't proof read. Thanks for understanding


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