Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are You An Oddball Writer?

This is the fifth Wednesday of the month and a free-for-all day---one I’ve reserved for posting myself. Today, I’m going to talk about pulling weeds. 
There's an Autumn Fern in there somewhere.

You might think: What does pulling weeds have to do with writing?

A weed is simply a plant growing in a spot where it’s not wanted. Springtime brings buckets of them and mindless hours spent ridding a garden of their presence.

You probably think: Aha! It’s an analogy for pulling out those weedy words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or scenes from your story.

Um...that's true, but a post for another time. This is, literally, about pulling weeds—and how it can boost your creativity.

You finally think: Yes! I knew there had to be a writing connection. After all, this isn’t a gardening blog.

As one who finds joy in gardening, I chomp at the bit to get outside in the spring and start digging in the dirt. Honestly, you should see my fingernails from April through June.

But who, in their right mind, enjoys weeding? Most people find the job to be menial, back-breaking labor, so they spray the invaders until they shrivel up and die. Not me. I like getting on all fours and yanking them right out of the ground—one little, ole trespasser at a time. Does that make me an oddball gardener?

Let’s face it, grabbing hold and ripping out a weed isn’t brain surgery. The only real thinking comes in making sure you don’t rip out a good plant by mistake. (Hmmm…another good editing analogy.)

For a writer, a task like weeding allows plenty of time for brainstorming. My mind wanders to the story I’m working on and how I’m going to get my heroine out of a nasty pickle, or to making a list of marketing ideas for when I’ll need them, or to planning a blog post. It may mean daydreaming a whole new story idea. Whatever I’m working on, it’s a source of quiet time to think while accomplishing another responsibility. It’s creative multi-tasking.

Creativity Complete
I’m not saying you have to plant a garden to be creative, but we all have responsibilities and tasks in our daily lives, away from the computer, that provide opportunities to think and be creative. 

So, what do you think? What is the oddest job you do that lets your mind wander and gets those creative juices flowing? What makes you an oddball writer?

(And, yes, I did write this blog post in my head while pulling weeds.)