Writing About Spring
I’ve never been great at growing vegetation. Plants and flowers don’t seem to flourish around me. The idea of getting outside in the heat. Dealing with bugs of all kinds. Tilling soil and getting dirty. None of these are my thoughts of a fun and enjoyable activity. Then add my visual disability to the mix and my interest quickly wilts like leaves on an unwatered plant. Although there are blind gardeners they must have a passion I don’t possess. But what I have found fruitful is writing about the topic. Now, that is something I can do.
I have been reading a lot about spring and it has inspired me to write about the season as it relates to the writing craft. I can’t grow an actual green thumb but I can do it with words. Here is how I do it.
1. Start New Writing Habit
Spring is the time to rejuvenate. The time for rebirth. The time to try something new. With that in mind, start a new writing habit or ritual. I tried something new with writing this blog post. Before writing anything down or doing any research I wrote a list of keywords that communicated spring and growth. Words such as: nature, nurture, flourish, blooming, blossoming, petals, plants, leaves, stems, root, ground, dirt, soil and germinate. This writing exercise helped to get the creative juices flowing. It boosted my excitement about writing this piece. I felt energized . Also, it helped eliminate using the same standard, old words and phrases multiple times.
2. Writing in a Different Genre
Another new habit worth trying is writing in a different genre. If you are a nonfiction writer try fiction. If you are an author enter a writing contest or pen an article for a newspaper or magazine. Just like growing the same crop every time the soil will lose nourishment, your writing can go stale. Your creativity can suffer. I have tried a new writing assignment. A submission I wrote was recently published in my local library’s anthology. it has motivated me to continue in this direction and I am working on another anthology submission for Black female writers.
3. Interact in Person
Spring is also the time to come out of the winter cave. During those cold months we stay at home and hibernate. Plus, the pandemic has made many of us hesitant to physically interact with each other. But this is the prime time to get out of the house. Slow down those numerous Zoom calls. Renew old friendships and meet new people. Whether it is a writing group, book club meeting, or just hanging out, these interactions boost positive energy perfect for growing creativity.
I am an introvert but love interaction. This spring I started attending live theatre again. I went to my first production last month and it was a wonderful experience. I will share more in a future post. Later this month, I will be meeting with my dinner book club in person for the first time since the pandemic started.
4. Write Down Ideas and Thoughts
Now, for the real dirty work. You must plant seeds in order for your writing green thumb to grow. Just like in a real garden, seeds must be sown in order for flowers, fruits or veggies to materialize. Something I do regularly is write down blogging ideas whether they turn into a published piece or not. This boosts my creativity and gets those little writing shoots growing. When you write a list of ideas you can refer back and it keeps your creative brain fertilize. You are giving your thoughts and ideas a safe place to grow and germinate.
The seeding stage is the most important of phases of a plant’s growth and can’t be rushed. In other words, you can’t speed up creativity. it has to sprout over time, and with water, sunlight and nurturing creative ideas will soon emerge through the soil.
5. Remember the Writing Process
Seeds are resilient to weather changes, fighting their way through the ground. You will see little spurts of green sprouts inching their way up. As a writer it is easy to focus on the victories and successes of our craft. The published article, blog or even book, without properly acknowledging the hard work it took to get there. There is real time and struggle in accomplishing any objective or success story. Remember the experience and don’t forget the writing process as you work toward your goals. Enjoy the journey not just the fruits of your labor.
6. Stop Writing If Burned Out
Are your writing seedlings not growing? Don’t see any shoots sprouting up? Experiencing creative burnout? Yes, I can relate. If you are Stuck on the next section of a story, unclear on a headline, struggling with a character. Then stop. Do something totally different than writing. Do something you enjoy but doesn’t require a lot of mental gymnastics. This gives your brain a break allowing creative ideas to blossom. For me exercise is my thing. Turning up the music loud and walking on my treadmill not only is good exercise but I can relax and enjoy the moment. usually by the time I am done I can get back to writing. Other times, I will sit on the piece and sleep on it. Then come back the next day and continue to write.
Spring is here and full of writing possibilities. Use my ideas to inspire and refresh your work. I am sure that one, two or maybe even all of them will help you grow that writing green thumb.