When I’m not juggling writing, editing, and time with my family, one of my favourite pastimes at this time of year is gardening. Gardening is a lot like writing. How?
- When you make a change to solve one problem, it often creates a new problem to solve.
- You often have to yank out and discard a bunch of weeds and if you’re lucky, you find some lovely little gems hidden underneath.
- It makes your back hurt if you do too much of it at once.
- No two gardeners/writers will tackle the same piece of ground in exactly the same way.
- And it’s never really done. (Okay, I guess a writing project eventually gets called finished, but really, like a well-established garden, one can always imagine more changes to make that might improve it.)
This weekend I took a break from writing, editing, and gardening to go on a tour of gardens in the area with my sister. It was interesting to see which felt most inviting, most like places one would be happy to spend a lot of time, and to analyze why this was so, and why one garden seemed to lack a soul, despite being technically beautiful. (Gee, some writing is like that too, isn’t it?)
Today my novel and my garden called out for my attention. And they both got some, too. (I’m not telling which got more.)
Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.