I am a compulsive plant shopper. Find me near a garden centre and I cannot resist adding yet another variety to my already packed garden. And as for rescuing marked down plants and reviving them with some TLC…call on me. My bargain buy this past weekend was three marguerites, those lovely, daisy-like flowers last for months.
Planting them, I was reminded of something the great garden designer Gertrude Jekyll had to say: ‘a garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness.’
As is often the case, this led me on to consider how this might be applied to writing. Here patience is definitely a virtue. Many a great idea has failed to germinate by being hurried. Many a half decent manuscript has been put away in a drawer when the writer lost faith in it.
To go back to the analogy of plants: It takes time for roots to reach down into the soil for sun and rain to nurture them until finally they burst into bloom.
I'm contemplating going back to an earlier project. Not, heaven forbid, re-working the text, but writing a new text built on the same ideas and situations. And one of the advantages of doing things this way is that the researched material has mulched down. The stuff I found out needs to become stuff I just know, so that there's no longer any difference between them: all compost?
Making compost is a mixture of turning it over, and leaving it be, and maybe that's true of writers’ compost too.