Archive for June, 2015

A Garden of Writing


As I looked down from my deck last night, it dawned on me that my writing is very much like our garden.  Before we planted it, I spent a lot of time thinking about it and doing research.  I came up with a design for two beds, each independent, but still lined up together.

One has sprawlers like cucumbers and squash grouped together.  That one is like my personal writing—it’s free and frequently all over the place!  The other plot is the tall and firm plants like tomatoes and peppers.  That would be my freelance (paid) writing.  It’s all together, but each plant is very full and independent, like each article.

Just as I outline my writing before I start, I planned out our garden.  I thought about the direction each vegetable would take.  I drew plans.  Seeds would be placed in rows, much like a chapter in a book.  I know what I hoped it would look like in full bloom, and planned out how I would wrap it up.  Because like the Hub always says, you have to have an exit plan.

Certain plants would ripen first.  They needed to be accessible to be picked without disturbing the others, so they are on the fringe.  The crawlers that needed the most time and space are on the outside of one end.  They are free to grow and roam the entire season, much like a storyline expanding throughout a book.  They will spill over and likely take on a life of their own, like a vegetative plot gone wild!

And then there are the pots that grow on their own, two cilantro and two basil.  Although they’ll play a key role in some post-harvest recipes and storage, they’re just bit parts in the garden (story) as a whole.  They sit off to the side doing their own thing, kind of like a red herring just waiting to be noticed and thought about.

And just like our garden, my writing needs to be tended to daily.  It needs to be nurtured and fed.  There is a lot of planning and a fair amount of weeding.  But in the right light, with a little TLC, both will feed you—mind and body.