Today, we harvested our first vegetables with the kids as part of our home schooling. I cannot tell you how long I have been wanting to have my own veggie patch, but with four kids, and whilst they were still in school, I never found the time. Now it is part of my “curriculum” as a parent-teacher, I made time to start my first tiny veggie patch.
And here it is.
Not much to be proud of, you think? I disagree.
And here is the parallel with writing. To get writing, you first need to plant a seed. But before you can plant the seed, the soil needs to be ready. It could take years for your writer’s soil to be fertile enough to be able to grow anything. Also, you have to be ready too, as a gardener. I was super scared to start my veggie garden because what if I failed? Right? But here is what struck me today: if you never start your veggie patch, you always fail. You don’t have a veggie patch. It is a failure as far as veggie patches are concerned.
If you try and you only get the harvest that I got, it is still more of a success than if I hadn’t started it. Can you see?
I want you to be kinder to yourself as a writer. Acknowledge how far you have come. Maybe the idea of your book has been germinating for years but this year, you plucked up the courage to say: I am going to do it this year. And perhaps it is completely overwhelming. I understand. Starting my veggie patch was so overwhelming. I knew nothing about gardening. It felt that I had so much to learn. But instead of sticking my head in a book or signing up for a course, I just did it. I prepared the soil. My soul daughter gave me some seedlings (I know a bit of a cheat but I started late), I planted them, watered them every day, weeded them. And six months down the line, here we are. Had I dug out the plants when they were little to find out if they were growing, I would have no garden.
Similarly, with your writing, especially when you are at the seeding stage, don’t doubt your ability to write. Honour the fact you have a seed. Get excited about the possibility. Prepare the ground: all it takes is to open you heart and your head to the idea that you have a book in you. Plant the seed. “Maybe there is a writer in me”. Then let this thought grow. Don’t dig it. Don’t let your inner dragon burn the seed. Allow it to grow. Whilst it is buried deep inside of you, it may look like nothing is happening but it is. You just need to let it grow.
Then one day, when it’s ready, your book seed will come to the light. What you will see will seem tiny and frail but under the ground, there will be some healthy roots and a big stem. That’s when you need to water it. And weed around it. Weed every single thought about not being a writer, about not having anything interesting to say, about not being ready, about no one wanting to read what you write. You don’t know. Let the seedling grow. OK?
And if you need encouragement to grow bigger as a writer, why not book a session with me. Contact me through my page here. I love nurturing budding inspirational female writers. Start by joining my group: the Inspirational Female Writers’ Playground. We will all cheer and support you.
To your writing,
(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017