March 4, 2021 in Dag

I have a green thumb – but only on the page

When I think about activities that I can compare with writing, one that definitely comes to mind is gardening.

I can see a lot of similarities between writing and gardening. Firstly, they’re both highly popular recreational activities. Throughout the country (and the world) I can imagine lots of people spending the weekend at their desk creating stories or out in their garden.

A second similarity I can think of is that they’re both relaxing. After the stress of a busy working week, getting some dirt on your hands in the garden or getting your ideas out on a page are both fantastic ways to unwind. Both help you feel connected to something a bit bigger than just your individual self.

Thirdly, they’re both creative. When you’re designing a story or designing a garden, there’s lots of room for imagination and creative thought. You can take the time to plan in detail. Or you can just go out and design at random, any way you want. Whether it’s writing or gardening, you can be a plotter or a pantser (or a mix of both).

And finally, writing and gardening are both ongoing tasks. A garden is never finished. You’re always going back to weed and tidy and maintain it as best you can. Writing is similar. A story never quite feels like it’s done. There’s always a bit more editing you can do, a few more words to cut out, a scene you can sharpen up.

So there you have it. Lots of similarities between gardening and writing. But there’s one extremely significant difference between them I can identify.

I love writing. I hate gardening.

Writing is my main hobby (or dare I say it, my major non-paying job). It’s my go-to form of recreation and one of the biggest sources of enjoyment in my life.

Gardening is just about the opposite in every way. I’ve never enjoyed gardening. Always felt that it was something of a chore. I guess it goes back to my childhood, when I used to spend hours weeding in the backyard (well it used to take hours because I used to spend most of the time doing anything I could except the weeding). Now that I’m all grown up and I have my own garden to tend, I do the bare minimum I can get away with – a bit of trimming and cutting when I need to  – as well as the dreaded mowing of the lawn (ouch – my back still tingles when I think about it).

So you gardeners go on enjoying your gardening. I hope you continue to enjoy it. My, I’ll stay inside with my stories – because my thumb is green, but only on the page.

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