Monday, July 23, 2012

Seven Things Writers Can Learn from Gardening

1. You can't grow a flower without a seed.
Planting the seed is planning. Even if you write by the seat of your pants, you still need the basics: characters, setting, and often research. Otherwise, your seed isn't fully fertilized and won't grow!
2. Seeds don't grow without water.
If you don't water your seed, you won't get a plant; if you don't put time writing into your idea, you can't grow your idea into a novel.
3. Not all plants grow at the same rate.
Not all novels are written at the same speed. Sometimes a story takes months to be written, and sometimes it dances off the fingertips. Don't panic if you find yourself writing one story less quickly than you wrote the last.
4. Use insecticide if you have spider mites; use fungus-killer if you have fungus.
Cut the adverbs if you write with too many; cut the introspection if your story is moving too slowly. If you don't edit, your novel won't be able to reach its full, beautiful potential. Also, don't apply the wrong treatment to the wrong problem! It's easy to cut out your own voice, but it's voice that makes the petals bright.
5. It takes patience.
And editing. Lots of editing. But when you've given it time, energy, and love, you'll have a fully bloomed (edited and revised) novel.
6. Not everyone likes flowers. Nor does everyone like the same kind of flower.
Some people are allergic to roses; some people don't read mysteries. If the agents or publishers you're querying don't accept your novel, it might be because they prefer sunflowers. Don't take it personally.
7. If everything dies, try again next year.
One dead garden isn't the end of the road. And if your first story doesn't sell or doesn't turn out like you wanted it to--that's the sign to start another. Just don't salt your earth by being rude to the agents you're trying to query!

What tips about writing have you learned from gardening?


  1. I don't know if this is just me, but lately parts of your text have been showing up highlighted in white, such that it looks like you're hiding spoilers or something.

    1. It's not just you... For some who-knows-what reason, Blogspot has been adding random sections of < span background=white > to my text. x.x I've been cutting it out manually after the posts go up, but if I don't have time to look at the post right after it goes up, then I end up missing it and have to back and edit the white out later. It's driving me INSANE. >.< Bad blogspot!

    2. I've been having issues where blogspot insists that new pictures I insert should go in the middle of the text and can't be moved (but only if they have captions!). So many weird bugs...