Since I do have all that old content, I'm going to recycle some of it. What follows is an entry originally posted on one of those now defunct blogs in July 2007. It may be eight years later but I find writing is still like gardening for me, and this old blog entry still applies.
Writing is like gardening
I've been a lifelong gardener. I suppose it's in my blood, passed down from generations of women who knew long before the evening news told them so that houseplants keep indoor air fresher. One thing my mother and grandmother always had were flowers.
My mother used to collect cardboard milk cartons to trim and fill with potting soil. In these she started her seeds. Once the seeds sprouted she would turn the cartons every day so the tiny seedlings weren't forced to stretch one way or the other toward the sunlight.
Mom nurtured the plants until the first of May then the cartons were set in the garage to "harden" before being planted in the regular beds or pots after May 10th, which is historically the day the chance of a hard frost is over for our immediate area. By July my mother's yard was blooming and she was hard at work weeding and watering. With the arrival of October she was clearing the beds of frost damage and making mental notes for the following year and washing out new milk cartons to stack in the garage for next March's seed sowing.
Mom has scaled back some in recent years but she still maintains a flowerbed that stretches along her driveway. She's mostly content with a smaller area but sometimes we reminisce about her hundred foot long border along the edge of the backyard of the house I grew up in. Glory days.
Writing, for me, is much like gardening. The seed of a story comes to me either from something I've already written or from whatever it is beyond myself that makes me want to create characters and stories. The seed sometimes quickly sprouts, sometimes lies dormant waiting for a different season. Once it begins to grow it needs attention, nourishment, and sometimes a lot of weeding. If I'm lucky it eventually matures and blooms into something I can be proud of, something well worth all the work.