During lockdown my loved one found unexpected joy with gardening. He’s growing all sorts of stuff and has transformed our garden. I will also say his fingers are…getting greener by the day.
He’s done so well I was gobsmacked at the SIZE and LENGTH of his carrots earlier this week. 🥕🥕🥕 Now, I never thought I would be discussing the size of my loved ones’s veg on my blog.
I’ve been watching him pottering about his vegetable and flower patches (when I should have been writing) and I have observed some similarities between writing and gardening.
- The goofy smile. My loved one has a huge goofy happy smile when he talks about growing vegetables and flowers. It’s a similar smile to the one I have when I talk about writing romance.
- An obsession with size and growth. My loved one is obsessed with the size of the green shoots coming out of the ground and the size of the vegetables which are being dug up or picked. As a romance writer I am also obsessed with growth. Yesterday I wrote 1,600 words on something new and couldn’t resist raving about my story’s sudden growth spurt. I only have to go on Twitter to see writers tweeting about their word counts and growth of their stories.
- Get all the gear. My loved one has bought himself some fancy gardening gloves, brightly coloured gardening tools and some gardening clogs. I have bought myself an array of colourful notebooks, a bright cover for my mac and a new writing t-shirt which I proudly tweeted the other day.
- It’s all about timing. Both gardeners and writers are time focussed. From what I am learning while observing my loved one gardening is calendar driven and it’s all about timing. Writing is the same especially when you are querying and are waiting for your agent of choice to open their submissions.
- Accepting the pain and the pleasure. Pain for the gardener comes when things don’t grow out of the soil, the plants look nothing like what was on the seed packet or everything they plant can’t survive more than a few weeks. Pleasure is watching their garden come to life and seeing all their hard work pay off in a colourful display. Gardeners accept there will be both pain and pleasure. We all know writers accept that there will be both pain and pleasure with writing. Pain comes from stories which don’t make it out of the notebook, stories that never sound like the one in our heads or the deep breaths we have to take when faced with days of tough editing ahead. Pleasure is when our readers can’t tap out a favourable review fast enough or when a story exceeds your expectations. Like gardeners we know there will always be pain and pleasure with our love of words.
- The constant muttering. My loved one can be heard muttering to himself while he’s digging, sewing and pulling up his produce. I can be heard indoors muttering too whilst breaking the hearts of my characters, rewriting the life out of my first three chapters and spicing up an intimate scene or two.
- One eye is always on other projects. My loved one is thinking about what he’s growing next and what is already planning next year. He always has an eye on other gardening projects. As a writer I have my eye on other creative projects although I do find myself getting quite distracted by them.
- Requires hard work. A garden is not going to weed itself, keep its lawn neat or rid itself of slugs. A book is not going to write itself, edit by itself or spot pesky typos. Both a garden and writing require hard work.
- The magic of growing plants and stories from just a seed. My loved one has grown so much from tiny seeds and this had made me think about how as writers we grow stories from just a seed of an idea. Sometimes our seed is as simple as a character’s first name, a room of a house or an object.
- Special places. Gardens and writing desks are our special places. They are places where we go to think, to force ourselves to slow down, to do what makes our heart grow, to get in touch with our soul and find new versions of ourselves amongst green shoots, bulbs and the pages of a notebook.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog post. Go and plant some story seeds 👍🏻