I love spring. There’s nothing quite like the first crocus that peeks its head above ground, the advance guard for the rest of the emerging plants and flowers. That joy at the colors dancing gaily in the gardens no longer covered in a blanket of white snow.
As much as I enjoy planting, and my flowers and veggies, I also love to weed. Yeah, I’m weird like that. I find great satisfaction in weeding – in seeing the change between wild, untamed messiness to groomed, well-kept perfection. There’s something very zen about weeding. It’s a quiet time for me, a time to be introspective, to think about whatever crosses my mind as I select each green invader and pluck it out by its roots and add it to my compost pile.
Writing's a bit like that, too, don't you think? Not only do items you edit/weed out of your work go on the compost pile, but also ideas or characters that come to you that you don't know what to do with.I’ve written stories with characters I love, but where the plot line is weak or simply doesn’t work, at least not for them. When that happens, I pull them out by their roots and add them to the compost pile. Eventually, they become fodder for something else.
Nothing is ever wasted in nature. Weeds become dirt. Carcasses become food. Excrement becomes fertilizer. So is nothing ever wasted in writing. Every word is a journey toward a destination. Even when that word is plucked, or we “kill our babies”, or edit out crappy scenes, they feed us. We learn from our mistakes. We use our lessons to make our writing richer, better, stronger.
Weeding, like editing, is a necessary job. Try to face it with joy.
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