Here are some handy hints and tips on how to grow flowers – like a writer:
- You need to be goofy happy about flowers just like writers are about words. When someone mentions growing flowers you need to have a huge grin on your face.
- Make sure you place some unrealistic expectations on your flower seeds as you plant them. In your head they are going grow into something from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Writers are great at doing this, we love setting unrealistic expectations. Some of us even tell ourselves that our first novel will be a bestseller.
- Whilst your flowers are busy growing spend a lot of your time sticking your head over your neighbour’s fence and gazing longingly at their flowers. Say things like “I will never be able to grow flowers as good as those!” and “just looking at their flowers makes me question why I am bothering to grow flowers!” Writers are constantly comparing their work to others, even if it is unfinished.
- Bore your loved ones silly with your flower related hopes and dreams. Watch their eyes glaze over and them stifle a yawn a lot! Writers are very experienced in this scenario. We get this all the time.
- Become obsessed by the size of your green shoots coming out of the ground. Tweet about the size of your green shoots a lot! Writers like to tweet word counts so tweeting the size of shoots feels pretty similar.
- Get all the gear – fancy gardening gloves, brightly coloured gardening tools and high fashion garden wear. Believe that if you don’t have all the latest gear you can’t grow flowers. Ignore the fact that people have been growing flowers for centuries without a range of impressive looking rakes. There was a time when writers just had some pencil and paper, now they have Laptops, Macs, Scrivener…
- Mutter to yourself a lot whilst tending to your flowers. Writers do this a lot!
- Get distracted a lot and think about growing other stuff like vegetables or herbs. Always have your eye on another gardening project. As writers we struggle with keeping our eye on our creative projects.
- When it doesn’t look like much is going on in the soil have a huge hissy fit / tantrum and storm off shouting “I quit growing flowers!” Some writers do like to opt for a dramatic and public creative breakdown.
- If your first batch of flowers doesn’t live up to your unrealistic flower expectations consider quitting. This is definitely writer territory!
- Email some long-suffering gardening friends a lot about your flower growing troubles and occasionally tell them how you want to pull up all your flowers and burn them! This is what it feels like to be a writer. You hate your work so much you email writer friends saying that you want to have a bonfire using your 46k manuscript.
- When you are reasonably happy with your batch of flowers get someone to come over and give you a star rating. Writers love ratings!
- Alternate thinking on an hourly basis between ‘my flowers look really good’ to ‘my flowers look a complete mess!’ As writers we are constantly under threat from self-doubt.
- Remain vigilant for pests! Slugs are like typos for writers!
- When times are tough, your flowers are withering and you are knee-deep in dirt tell yourself that you couldn’t possibly do anything else in life! Sigh!
Have a great day writers!