Monday, March 26, 2012
5 Things Writers Can Learn From Gardening
A time when the divinity in nature is beautifully displayed.
I love how this season is embraced by every fiber of our being and through all the senses.
How the warmth of the sun caresses the skin, while the melodic chirping of the birds cheerfully signal their arrival.
The vivid colors of the trees, grass, fruits and flowers provide a feast for the eyes.
Peering out my window, I witness many of my neighbors starting their yard work.
They really go all out! :-)
As I reflect, I am reminded of just how many parallels there are between the gardening activities this season ushers in and a career in writing.
See if you would agree.
1. Sometimes you have to get “down and dirty”.
Many times writing is mistakenly glamorized. But those of us that are in the trenches know, you have to get “down and dirty”. Whether it’s being buried in mounds of research for a feature piece, digging for a missing check, or pounding the pavement to track down a source, it ain’t always pretty or easy.
2. Writing, like gardening, requires patience.
You plant seeds then you wait. And you hope. Sometimes it’s four weeks, six, or even months before your efforts will bear any fruit. Such is the case with writing. You send a query or complete manuscript, then wait with crossed fingers for editors and publishers to connect, bestow a byline and pay. It’s one of my least favorite things about this line of work. But, I’m working on developing more patience with the review and acceptance process.
3. You reap what you sow.
For each endeavor, there is a direct correlation between what is put forth and successful yield. The more you give of yourself, the more you’re likely to get back. Whether it’s in pay for your pieces, or karma paid back through good deeds to others.
4. You have to take the thorns with the roses.
Writing, for me, is extremely gratifying. And I feel honored to have it as my life’s work. Still there is “stuff” that makes me wanna’ scream from time to time: computer glitches, unfair wages, politics, and sore eyes. But in more than a decade of doing this, I can still say that the pros outweigh the cons. And I’m grateful.
5. Nurturing is needed for optimal results.
Seeds need watering. Plants need pruning. Gardening doesn’t operate on an “auto-pilot” principle. Neither does writing. Rewrites. Cultivating relationships with editors. Updating blog posts. Backing up files. Record keeping. Reading the works of others to learn more.
Going the distance truly means tending to the little things, as well as the major ones.
It means constantly growing, weeding and renewing.
Would you agree? What else would you add here? Do you garden?
Image: Andrea Brill