Is that it's all Show and no Tell. All the dull and repetitive and painful bits that you can cover in fiction with a breezy few lines:
A week of hiking through the mountains had toughened Jem's blistered feet, but had not shaken the zombie buzzard that trailed him.
Sinda endured eighteen hours of back labour, but when she saw her triplets, she--
Twenty years in the salt mines, Maurice thought, shrugging the heavily-muscled shoulders he'd gained swinging a pickaxe, and at last I am free to seek my revenge.
in real life have to be gone through with, step by dull step. I speak from the depths of fruit harvest, of my few little trees. Just as I begin to see the end of the Transparent apples, I pick up two fallen pears, and see a few plums purple over the driveway. Oh, and the blackberries? The blackberries are constant.
Every night I've been running apples through the peeler-corer-slicer thingy and filling one or both dehydrators. The only way I can get through it is to play cds. Right now I'm repeat-listening to Cat Stevens, Al Stewart, and Lost and Profound, because I like the lyrics. (I'm not musical - it's all about the lyrics for me).
One of my agent's comments about the first half of Willow Knot (surviving in the woods) was 'Enough with the gathering!'
I still have 3 trees to go, running probably into November. Last year there were Golden Delicious on the tree in the snow.
My writing-related point--and I do have one--is that one of the Rules that is sometimes wielded like a 2x4 in writing workshops is SHOW DON'T TELL.
It's a good rule, basically. Don't tell me that Colonel Absalom is hot-tempered. If his hot temper is relevant to the plot, show him losing it at a subordinate (ideally about something that develops the plot as well as the character). Sure, I can go with that.
The problem comes when the rule is employed as if there were no exceptions, and as if it were a guarantee of good writing.
Really, truly, telling does have a place. It gets you-the-reader through the dull bits. It speeds up plot. It reduces wordcount and leaves space for the exciting parts that you want to get properly stuck into.
It can sneak you-the-writer through those bits you haven't properly researched, like how many days it really takes to travel by coach from Framlingham to London in 1806 in the winter.
I don't really want to hear every word of a conversation that ends up agreeing where to eat for lunch. I don't really want to taste every dish that's had at said lunch, and feel the stomachache afterwards. I don't need to know about the stains on the tablecloth unless they build the atmosphere or foreshadow something.
Telling can be better than showing. Use it wisely. (She said, as if she had any cred to be handing out advice.)