By Terry Deighton, Guest Blogger
Liz asked me to take her place on the blog today. She’s out there enjoying the summer.
My son is getting married in August. That’s incidental to my tale except that the colors for the reception are dark red and black. I thought it would be nice to have my mother-in-law put her green thumb to use growing the flowers for the centerpieces. I bought some run of the mill dark red dahlia tubers at Fred Meyer and some more exotic almost black ones from a dahlia farm, delivered them to her at the appropriate time, and she did the rest.
One of the black tubers rotted in the ground due to the excessive rainfall this spring. Oh, well, I wanted more red than black anyway. As the summer has progressed, the plants have grown, but they are not as large or as close to blooming as the dahlias in my yard or the ones my mother-in-law has had for years. She expressed her concern. I told her I wasn’t worried. There’s still a month to go. Plants can do amazing things in a month. I bought small vases, so we don’t need a lot of flowers. It’ll be fine.
Then I started to wonder what I would do if there weren’t enough flowers. There are lots of possibilities. I can buy some at the dahlia farm, but it is over an hour’s drive away. Costco has some lovely dark red roses that would be nice. My bright red dahlias are doing well and starting to bud up. No one else is going to care if the color isn’t perfect. There are a lot of options. There’s no need to panic.
Our writing is kind of like these dahlias. Some pieces of writing rot in the ground before they ever take form. We move on and forget them. Other stories start out slowly, and we wonder, some times for years, if they are ever going to blossom. Other writing endeavors shoot right up, grow tall and straight, and blossom beautifully for all to see. The thing is, the stories that we struggle with are the ones we love the most. They are usually the ones others appreciate the most also. The exotic tubers are harder to grow, but the flowers are unusual and interesting. The writing that is the most work is usually that which is also more interesting, more enlightening. If we never try new and different types of writing, we may miss some very rewarding experiences.
The moral of the story is to let your writing develop at its own pace. If you are having trouble with it, fertilize your mind with reading and research if necessary, but don’t try to make it happen. When it’s time, the story will blossom, and it will be more beautiful than if you had forced it. Forced flowers can be beautiful, but they are before their time and short lived. Wait on the real thing. It will be worth it.