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  • LV Ditchkus

Gardening and writing

For those who love to plant flowers in the spring, there is nothing like cleaning out the beds and putting new plants into the soil. The ground is clean and offers a promise of blooms and greenery to come. During the summer growth months, a gardener has two choices. They can enjoy weeding and grooming to make the plantings look their best.

Or grow weary of perpetual yard work and leave nature to de-evolve your garden into an untamable jungle.

Writing is a similar process. We start with a fresh sheet of paper, a pristine notebook, or a blank computer page. Everything is possible, and we fill blank pages with ideas and text—all headed to the goal of a complete story.

Getting through the first draft is much like gardening’s initial plantings. The results might be well organized, but there are gaps and bare spots. When you stand back to appraise your work, you will see the product lacks complexity and depth that will come with additional time and attention.

Just like in gardening, an ignored writing project will grow fallow. The plot lines and character profiles will stagnate and can become irrecoverable if you ignore them for several months or years.

While you should give your baby periodic time to rest (I’m talking a few weeks or a month), my advice is to keep the pressure on. Tend to your project and don’t get distracted with less important tasks that take you away from your writing. Your story will benefit from the attention, and you will end up with a polished project that readers can enjoy.

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