Friday, July 18, 2014

Gardening and writing


 I came across this hilarious Chinese proverb the other day: “If you want to be happy for an hour, get drunk; if you want to be happy for a year, fall in love; if you want to be happy for a lifetime, take up gardening.”

  I have never been drunk in my life, but I believe that gardening is akin to writing. In order to garden you need a fertile soil. You get good quality soil  by composting.  I love composting. Composting is about turning trash into treasure. In writing, we can try to create something meaningful out of life situations and events, so it is a way of recycling thoughts and experiences.
  Like gardening, writing is about choosing what you need to produce something that will inspire your readers’ senses. You can let your imagination fly and mold your words into something that will intrigue your readers and elicit an air of expectation and wonder.
  Both your garden and your manuscript have a soul of their own. They breathe life; your words make up metaphors or reflections out of something real. They both make you trim, prune, weed out, and you are  ready to add some fertile soil and make changes to let them grow in new directions.
  There is a time to sow and a time to harvest.
   Will it work? I’ve no idea, but I welcome the challenge.
   

16 comments:

  1. Gardening and writing are both creative pursuits which require time, concentration and patience. I agree they could both bring lasting happiness (as long as we learn to cope with the almost inevitable setbacks which will also come our way)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patsy. I agree. Concentration and focus are really important.
      Everything in life has setbacks.
      We all learn to cope with them and do our best.

      Delete
  2. A lovely post, Julia, thank you. I welcome the challenge too. What would life be without our writing and it's beautiful garden? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sharon. Patience is always needed.
      The gardens of our minds need it too.

      Delete
  3. I like to garden, and I find it especially helpful when I'm in the middle of a WIP. There are certainly parallels between the writing process and gardening. I loved your comment about composting: "Composting is about turning trash into treasure." That's a pithy insight if there ever was one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth.
      As another parallel I forgot to mention that some areas need sunlight whereas others need to be under the shade for a period of time or forever. The same happens with our stories.

      Delete
  4. Dear Julia
    Great comparison (I think). I only know about gardening and that is why I haven't been around lately. Today, I think I will finish up a huge triangle in the corner of my yard. I feel like having an "end-of-project" celebration. I worked on this half of last summer too.
    Never been drunk? We can fix that. I can meet you in a park and bring a bottle of my home made, home-grown berry,. berry wine. We could make fools of ourselves and get arrested. That would be a first for both of us and we could get it all in at one feldswoop. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your sense of humor, Manzi. I knew you would comment on this one.
      Maybe I should try your wine. I promise I will not get drunk, though.
      Enjoy your beautiful garden! Good luck with that triangle.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Julia,

    I'm loving your gardening analogy relating to writing. In fact, I can um, dig it. Gardening, good for the soil and the soul. A nurturing of the garden and the inspiration it can produce with your writing. Yes, it can bear fruits that be the words of cultivation.

    Thanks for this and hoe, hoe, hoe! :)

    Gary the gardener.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Gary. They enrich each other. Gardening and writing, writing and gardening.
      They both nurture the soul.
      Hugs,
      Julia

      Delete
  7. Great post, Julia! There is wisdom in that old Chinese proverb. As a lover of both gardening and writing, I agree that gardening is akin to writing, both creative and nurturing pursuits. “Both your garden and your manuscript have a soul of their own.” Indeed they do. Beautiful petunias and flowers in your photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jersey.
      Enjoy your gardening and your writing, and don't forget to share your harvest.
      Hugs and happy wishes,
      Julia

      Delete
  8. I think the real key is to be creating. If you want lasting happiness, create. Make something beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree.
      Beauty can be subjective, though.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate each and every comment. Thank you.