Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘writing like gardening

#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