The ablest writer is only a gardener first, and then a cook: his tasks are, carefully to select and cultivate his strongest and most nutritive thoughts; and when they are ripe, to dress them, wholesomely, and yet so that they may have a relish. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
As an avid gardener and a chef I loved this quote.
I have always thought that daily writing is very similar to gardening. Planting seeds, watering, weeding, and then a yearly harvest. When we moved to Colorado eight years ago, I never imagined having such a beautiful garden what we did have in the back yard was a concrete sidewalk and not much else…and it wasn’t easy, but all the years of hard work have definitely paid off. And the more I learn about gardening in the high desert, the less mistakes I make and the better the garden is. That’s what I believe daily writing does for a writer.
Going back daily to your writing means you are paying attention, you see the weeds and you pull them, you see what works and what doesn’t, you find what words you can use, words you never thought of before, you find variety, short sentences, long sentences, you find commitment and patience and passion for your body of work.
Today, write about how you have grown as a writer in the last year or in the last five years. Can you see how a practice of daily writing can improve you and your work? If you don’t have a writing history, take a snapshot of yourself as a writer today and check back in six months, after committing to the habit of daily writing. Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag