My three-year-old son came running into the house, so excited he was almost bursting out of his skin. "I'm planting lemons!"
I went to investigate, but had to hide a smile as I inspected his "lemon": an old nectarine seed, pushed deep down into a pile of freshly-mown grass on our front lawn. I didn't have the heart to tell him that his seed wasn't of the citrus variety.
This little moment did get me thinking about seeds and gardening, though. Since I have more of a "black" thumb than a green one, killing almost every plant that has the misfortune of having me as its owner, this was an unusual thing.
I even ventured out into our back garden and began weeding it, and in the process finding our lemon-tree laden with almost-ripe fruit (I hadn't looked at it in months), and some fragrant chives I unfortunately mistook for weeds.
While I laboured in the hot sun, pulling out cobblers pegs prickles, I got to thinking about the oft-repeated analogy of our lives being like gardens. The principles of sowing-and-reaping, and the need to frequently remove unwanted weeds (negative thoughts or behaviour patterns), both apply here.
So what does this have to do with writing? (I am an author, after all. :) )
As with everything in life - including pulling out weeds in a garden - you need to write regularly and often to be successful; to hone your craft, find your flow.
You also need to plant the right "seeds": read books by authors you admire, study your genre, attend writing workshops and conferences, and join a writers' group or find a critiqueing "buddy".
Personally, I'm not quite yet "hitting the mark" in all of these areas (especially the "writing regularly" part; the cover of my novel-writing notebook is becoming a little dusty :) ).
However, with a little application - and perhaps some time spent mulling over my characters and plot-lines while I pull a few weeds in my garden outside - I know that I will eventually develop the habits and skills I need to become a better writer.
And perhaps even discover a few surprising crops of lemons/nectarines along the way. :)