Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Monday, 18 May 2009

Growing Season

It's that 'green' time of year again. Yes the rain is pelting down, the wind's whistling through the trees, and there's a little nip in the air, but as we come into the tail end of Spring, we should rejoice as it's nearly Summer! I have caved in to pressure and on our way home from nursery we popped into our local garden centre and purchased some compost, pots, tomato, pepper and a mixed salad bar seeds to grow with the runner bean plant we already had from the seed we had from nursery and planted a couple of weeks back.

My daughter and I got all grubby and 'earthy' by planting some of the seeds this afternoon. She really enjoyed it, as she's been planting things and learning all about seeds and plants at nursery, so I'm carrying on the theme at home. Not only is it a lot of fun, it's educational too, and I was asking her questions about what a seed needs to grow and she reeled them off no trouble! I will also be saving money when (if!) the crops come in. Do you know how much a small bag of mixed salad leaves in the supermarket is?! I have an expert who lives to the back of my house, and as I've never grown Peppers before and he does, he's going to be seeing a bit more of me begging for his advice!

I think growing my own vegetables will help my writing too, as the process is not unlike writing a short story, poem or novel. I start off with a seed (idea). I plant it (write some notes). Water it (add more notes). Leave it in a warm place for a couple of weeks (think about it and let the ideas take root). Replant the seedling into a bigger pot whan it's grown enough ( Pull my notes out and let the ideas shoot and grow into a more substantial piece. )

But that's not the end of it; I have to keep watering it (allow the new shoot to keep growing. )Keep it in the sunlight and warmth (not hide it away for months in a dark cupboard where it will die). Prune it to encourage stronger growth (edit it). Only after all this love and care will the fruit or vegetables (publication) and the success of our labour be found.

It takes a lot of patience to garden, and write. It takes time for things to grow. I didn't plant all of the seeds today as I didn't want twenty tomato plants to reach maturity at the same time, so I will be staggering my planting to hopefully ensure a steady supply of vegetables throughout the season. I take the same attitude with my writing. I have ideas in various notebooks, I have a few rough, first drafts of writing, and a few that have been edited and a few that are ready to send out. That way I have a steady flow of work going out and a steady flow of either rejection letters of acceptances coming in. It certainly softens the blow when you have a rejection and acceptance in the same week! And it saves hanging about twiddling my thumbs when I've sent work out waiting for the verdict to come in. Don't hang about - get another piece of writing out!

I find growing things very relaxing and I hope it will give me time to think about writing and provide me with inspiration while I'm tinkering about in my mini greenhouse! So look out Wrekin Writers who attend the july/Aug meetings - I hope you all like tomatoes, peppers, salad leaves and runner beans! And anyway , growing your own veg is obviously the 'hip' and 'cool' thing to do, as my four yr old daughter said when we were planting "I love planting, it's rock and roll!"

Happy writing and 'growing.'

Julie xx


Diane Perry said...

Hi Julie - I loved this post.
It's so true that growing things is just like writing. Sometimes we may plant things at the wrong time or in the wrong type of soil, perhaps the weather conditions may not be suitable for our seedling - but then one day we get it right and reap the rewards. We just have to carry on planting until we get that harvest.
Good luck - I'm going to pot some seeds!

Julie P said...

Hi, Di! Thanks. You're so right, there are a lot of variables to take into account when planting, growing and writing. When things go wrong and you get no fruit on your tree it can be so disheartening can't it? But when all the conditions are right and your tree is bountiful it's an amazing feeling.

May all our trees be bountiful! Julie xx
PS I was thinking of you when I got home on Saturday after the meeting when we talking about Take a break - when I got home I had a rejection letter from Take a break, and that was after 13 - 14 weeks! I hope yours make it through!