Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘#SundayBlogShare

#SundayBlogShare: When Writing Is Like Gardening…

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Folks, I recently took part in the Authors in Bloom blog hop, where the subject was either gardening or recipes. I talked about how I don’t garden (because I’m bad at gardening), but that got me to thinking…isn’t writing like gardening, too?

Think about it for a moment.

In farming, you get your plot of land, and you make sure it’s fertilized before you plant anything. Then you put your initial seeds in the ground and wait.

But in writing, this is when inspiration strikes, or when you first get an idea you can’t ignore. You get as much down as you can, knowing tomorrow you will keep building on your idea as you see fit.

So, you have to water, nurture, and weed your garden, just as you have to water, nurture, and weed your writing. (The weeding, in this case, would be self-editing.) Both are long-term projects that require a great deal of time, effort, and understanding in order to get anything done, and if you make a big enough mistake, your garden (or your writing) will not turn out the way you’d hoped.

Fortunately, you can correct your big mistakes with some forethought, nine times out of ten. And that tenth time, where you can’t, you can use for future reference as a guidepost of “what not to do,” so you still get something out of the experience…albeit not what you’d hoped for in the first place.

But life is like that, isn’t it? We don’t always get what we’d planned on. (In fact, we get what we’d planned on so rarely, it’s a miracle any of us still plan. But I digress.) We have to roll with the punches, whether it’s too much rain (too many distractions or life-interruptions), too little rain (not enough time for ourselves, maybe), too much fertilizer (we edited too much out), too little fertilizer (we haven’t edited enough)…the list goes on and on.

How do we grow anything worth eating, then? (Or how do we write anything readable?)

I think it’s a matter of trial and error on the one hand, and sheer bloody-mindedness on the other. We keep working at it until we find a process that seems to make sense, and then we go with that. And if one way doesn’t work, try, try, try again until you find a way that does.

That, to my mind, is how gardening and writing are alike.

What d’you think? Tell me about it in the comments!

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Hope: Just Do It

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It’s Sunday, and I was in need of spiritual sustenance. So I started thinking about hope, and its necessary qualities.

See, when you’re down, it’s hard to believe that anything matters. Life has given you a bunch of lemons, sour ones at that, and your attempts to make lemonade out of them don’t seem to be working…and it’s hard to believe in hope.

But you have to, because that’s when you need hope the most.

There’s a reason that hope was in Pandora’s Box. That one thing can make the difference between success and failure, because it reminds you that it’s all right to fail once in a while, just so long as you get up again.

It’s because of hope that I keep writing.

I realize that hope alone is not enough. But if I believe I have a good story idea, and do my best to flesh it out, I can use that hope and weld it to my will and work ethic to get something done.

I know this works. Because today, finally, after several weeks of illness and frustration, I did what was necessary and finished up my final edits with regards to my novel CHANGING FACES. My publisher has the file now, and aside from proofreading the PDF advance reader copy when it comes out (I’ll keep you posted on that), my work is now complete.

While I was feeling poorly, it was very hard to hope that I would be strong enough to do what was required. But I held on to my hope that I would do it, and I did it.

So that’s why the title above.

You need to believe in hope, because without hope, it’s nearly impossible to believe in yourself.

If you remember only one thing today, believe in this: Hope. Just do it. (For me. Please?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 22, 2017 at 5:53 am