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.) 


  1. Oh, how I envy multi-taskers...and gardeners!! Your garden looks lovely, Sandy. :-)

    For me, it's definitely cleaning the house. A vacuum in one hand, my smart phone in the other. I have a voice recorder app to record my thoughts because I'd never remember them by the time I finished cleaning.

    Great post, Sandy!

    1. Great idea about the recorder. You're so organized. you need anymore ideas, my house is available. I'll even let you use the vacuum. :-)

    2. Oo! Can I get in on this, too? I even have one of those little robot dusters to help!

      Yes, the recorder is a great idea. Like that a lot. I always find my best ideas come to me just before I drift off to sleep. I keep a flashlight (to keep from waking hubby) and a notebook with a pen, that actually writes, on my bedside table.

      For some reason, getting out of the house helps me, too. Maybe it's looking at all the things I need to clean? Which brings me back to our original post ... ;)

    3. Bring that little robot north. The more the merrier, Angie. :-)

      I go to sleep thinking about my story, too. Rarely, do I write things down, but I generally remember them. (Do you see a pattern with me when it comes to writing things down? Ugh!)

      Maybe getting out of the house helps you see your characters in others?

    4. Voice recorder app... Think they have one that'll work in the shower? That's where inspiration often hits!

    5. Hey, Angie, there's an app called "Assistive Light." Works better than a flashlight. Ha!! And one BIG house is more than I can handle.

      Annette, I will look into that! ahhaha

    6. Sandy, I love that little guy! I'm thinking about naming him. :) (Only $39.00 at Walmart! O'Cedar.) Maybe so, I hadn't thought about that aspect of getting out of the house. Hmmm...

      Annette, that's a great idea! I bet someone's thought of that. Maybe you can Google it?

      Dora, I'll have to Google "assistive light." But I bet you have to have a smart phone, right? I still have a dumb phone. :)

  2. Oh, I'm with you, Sandra! I enjoy working in the yard, and because weeding gives me time away from other distractions, my creative juices start flowing. Driving in the car (for at least 30 minutes)in silence also helps!

    1. So glad to know another gardener, Dawn.

      Driving in silence can do it, too. Just be careful not to get too caught up in that fantasy world and pass your turn off. :-)

  3. Love this connection between mental planning and gardening. I'm a gardener too. So I've done this. I also plot/plan while I'm doing other chores. Cleaning the shower. Walking. Washing the car. You name it. Great post!

    1. So glad I'm not such an oddball after all. :-)

    2. No, Sandy, you're not an oddball. You fit right in! :)

    3. Angie, I'm going to ponder whether that's good when it's coming from someone who's thinking of naming their vacuum. Just sayin'... LOL!


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