Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Challenge!


Hello dear readers,
Today is a rainy coolish day. I'm fine with that because I'm home all day and want to get more writing than gardening done! As you might know - I'm in my first week of revising. My schedule is for seven weeks but it might take more and it might take less. Today and for probably the next few days, I'll be working on writing three or so summaries of my novel. Each will be about three thousand words long and I'll choose the best to be my map for my second draft. I'm a bit nervous - the whole thing is somewhat tenuous - with streeling strands of plot. In fact, it is quite a bit like my garden - my flower garden that is. Haphazard and not planned - I will take free perennials when offered and plunk them in anywhere. This garden is in it's fourth year. As I look out the window I can see phlox that is blooming today when it wasn't yesterday. Several irises are about to unfold in their most gracious and queenly way. Bachelor buttons are still in their tight bloom phase - ready to spring forth and entice even more bumblebees and hummingbirds. Through it all - forget-me-nots flourish and take-over. I have no grass anywhere - I'm anti-grass. I think it is evil. Daylilies are the most prolific of my perennials - I have hundreds of them and the possibility of hundreds more if I take the time to subdivide.
It is a mad confusion BUT it isn't really without an underlying plan if you can see that far. It is far more pleasing than it was a few years ago and it is moving slowly and surely to a carefree and wonderfully gorgeous garden.
The Challenge today is to find a metaphor for your creative discipline. Mine is the garden, obviously. So find your metaphor and write down the lessons you learn from it that are transferable to your creative discipline.
Here is mine:

What my garden has taught me about writing a novel!
  1. Writing a novel is a long process.
  2. Showing up daily to work is necessary in order to see the results you are after.
  3. When establishing a garden don't be shy about putting things in that you aren't sure about. They can be moved or given away or saved for another spot easily.
  4. Sometimes, a plant that is flourishing and beautiful does not add to the overall affect you are after. It must go!
  5. A gardener must look upon the garden from a distance and from close up too. Only by moving between these two vantage points can a gardener see the overall design and the details that comprise it.
  6. Do not allow weeds or things that you see as weeds (so subjective really) to take over your garden. Be ruthless in your weeding and thinning or you will have a mess not a lovely disorder!
  7. At various times along the way, a gardener will feel overwhelmed with the work at bringing things to a cohesive whole. Do not despair! If you keep at it with great diligence you will see grace emerge.
  8. Building a garden is a choice that you have made. Enjoy the process as much as the finished product!

16 comments:

India Drummond said...

Love your metaphor! I'd have to give that question some thought though. For me writing is something like a bar fight, I think... but... yeah... need to think about that one!

Helen Ginger said...

That was great, Jan. You make a great call for looking at your novel as if it's a garden you're planting and nurturing. My favorite was #7 - see grace emerge.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Talli Roland said...

Love the metaphor, and I'm with Helen - I like number seven.

Jan Morrison said...

India - oh, I definitely want to hear about your writing being like a bar fight!

Helen - yes, grace is that sweet spot where craft and inspiration meet.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Talli - walked the dog in the middle of this comment! jeesh. Now back to the work at hand!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

What a wonderful metaphor for writing, Jan! My garden is full of weeds and needs serious attention. Wow - it IS a metaphor.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

A perfect metaphor, and a lovely post, Jan. I also love that you are anti-grass. We still have a lot of it here because LongSuffering Spouse is not about to have NO grass, but he does let me take back more of the lawn every year. Heh.

Jan Morrison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Morrison said...

Elspeth - when a metaphor meets on every point what is it?

Jodi- yes, my dearest guy said he thought we should have grass and I said so sweetly "you can go ahead, buy the seed, plant it, water it, keep the kids, dogs and chickens off it until it is up and then mow it every few days. I will not touch it! He decided not.

Gardeningbren said...

The dog needs the grass...hahahahah.

Loved your metaphor... the garden has taught us both very much.

DAYLILIES...have you been to the Waynes in the valley? Jodi did a piece on them a few years ago....wonderful!! Forget the proper name of the nursery...((((

niamh said...

This is a good question! I liked your metaphor so much its hard to think of one of my own... my novel writing ... is like... a torrid affair? Leaves me no energy for anything, I think about it all the time and if I don't end it soon it will go sour! I need to think some more about this one.

Jan Morrison said...

Brenda - I got all my daylilies from a friend who was sick of them. I love them. They anchor my front garden. I don't want anymore though I wouldn't mind some different colours I suppose!

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Niamh - it's probably Chauncy Gardener who ruined life for other metaphors but the garden (remember Being There?). I like the bad love affair though...especially when he doesn't write, he doesn't call. think I'll grab my good love affair and go out for a Friday night date...

Jemi Fraser said...

Great analogy!

Hmmm, for me the analogy would probably involve baking or kids. I'll have to think on that...

Ann said...

Oh Jan I loved this! So adept!

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Jemi - oh baking for sure? Or how about going on a trip?
Ann- not going to let you off so easy! Give over with your metaphor...and how's the emerald kingdom treating you?