Huge thanks to Catie Keeler for sharing this clever post with me. She's absolutely right about everything!
A garden is a great tool for sustainability. It allows you to grow your own food so you can cut down on your monthly budget and reduce your dependence on conventionally grown foods and contribute less to the consumption of fossil fuels. With this small plot of land, you help your family and the environment.
A garden is also a great tool for writers. Working in the dirt and growing your own produce does much more than nurture your family -- it can also nurture your writing. Here are just a few of the ways that gardening can improve your writing:
Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and patience to craft any good piece of writing -- even in short form. Writers have to learn to trust the process and to allow it to unfold naturally, without trying to rush it.
Growing a successful garden requires the same mind set. Even fast-growing crops require deliberate care. Plants that are haphazardly thrown in the grown without setting up the right conditions and providing the right follow-up care will wither and die. Some may never start to sprout at all.
Working in the garden teaches the patience that good writers need to apply to their work and see it through the process to develop it into something great.
Shows You New Insights
Growing plants from seed gives you an intimate understanding of the cycle of life, the fragility of an ecosystem, and your own impact on the environment. These insights can teach you larger lessons about life, such as the cycle of our own lives and the delicate balance between man and nature.
These insights from working close to the earth can make your writing better. They can give you a better understanding of themes or characters, or they can help you see your writing process more clearly. The lessons will be different for each person, but every writer can benefit from working in the garden.
Helps You Clear Your Mind
Writer's block can hit at any time. Even if you don't suffer full-blown writer's block, you will surely hit roadblocks in your writing when you struggle with character development or how to move your story forward. Getting out of the office or turning off your laptop and working in the garden can help you clear your mind and move past those blocks.
As you focus your efforts on your work in the garden and take your mind off your writing, you may be surprised to find that blocks or problems you faced before suddenly resolve themselves. You may find the answer to your plot problem or suddenly think of a great new story that you want to write.
Writing can often be an abstract endeavor. You are working with ideas, and your output is intangible. Though you have pages to show for yourself, your real product is what you have created in the mind of another.
When you work in the garden, you are doing physical work with your hands. You see the impact of your actions immediately -- whether it's planting seed or pulling out weeds or turning soil. Starting and accomplishing this series of small tasks can energize you in a way that abstract work like writing can't always do. If you're feeling stalled or uninspired with your writing, getting out in the garden can help energize you and give you the fresh start you need with your project.
Do you grow a garden? In what ways have you found that it helps make your writing better? Share your experiences in the comments!
Catie Keeler is the primary researcher and writer for mortgagerates.info. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a degree in business and communications. Her current focus for the site involves utah mortgage rates and mortgage rates houston.