Writing Is Gardening
For many of us, abstract ideas and vague inclinations are often all we have when we sit down to write. Our drafts are like seedlings in a propagation house. The tiny seeds have sprouted their first leaves and sent out exploratory roots, but they won’t mature unless they are ushered through the planting process.
As I see it, writing is the process of moving these seedlings out into the garden where they can take root and develop. The actual words of a piece won’t exist unless they’ve been cultivated. Few of us could perfectly articulate a finished piece of writing from start to finish. It has to be labored over, written and re-written, deleted, and reformatted.
It is why I’ve come to love writing in all forms. Nothing forces you to process and clearly formulate your feelings and ideas as writing does.
Meditation might help develop a clear state of mind where one can see and think more clearly, but we still have to act. Speaking with a trusted party can help us articulate certain things, but relies heavily on non-verbal. Writing uniquely requires that we articulate every single word with intent. It pushes us to dig deep to confirm that our written words actually reflect what we think and feel.
Planting and Growth
The reason it can take two hours to write something that will only take five minutes to read is that growth takes time. The soil must be amended, the hole dug, the seedling planted, and the earth watered.
Once the idea is planted, the small root tendrils that were previously limited by the small cell of the seed tray begin to branch out and establish themselves. The sunlight prompts photosynthesis and the leaves of the idea begin to unfold and reach to the sky. In other words, the idea is incorporated into our being. We begin to live it and express it because we planted it.
The words that once took hours to hours to cultivate and string together are now more readily at our lips. These words can be incorporated into our daily conversations and the stories we tell.
The ideas become planted within us. Their growth blossoms and bears fruit in our lives through the way we express and live out those ideas. We are organically transformed as the complex root systems of these ideas permeate our way of being in the world. We become the expression of our ideas.
Writing is gardening and our ideas are waiting to be planted.