I was prepping my veggie bed the other day, getting ready to plant (lettuces and spinach very soon). And I was thinking about how gardening is a fitting endeavor for a writer/editor.
Well, a brand new garden is like a blank page. The possibilities are endless. If you’re meticulous as both a writer and a gardener, you plan. You create an outline if you write. You create a blueprint if you garden.
Once you plan, you can begin. You plant the seeds and watch them grow. You write the words and watch a piece take shape.
Like a manuscript, a garden is a living, ever-changing thing. If something doesn’t work, you change it. You rotate crops from year to year. You plant new things to replace things that died. You change out annuals for a bit of variety. In other words, you revise. You improve. You add and remove.
You keep working at it, hoping your garden will reach its greatest potential. Just as you would hopefully continue to work at a manuscript to make it the best it can be.
Weeding, to me, is similar to editing. You are removing what’s unnecessary. You are cleaning up. You are clearing out the clutter to allow things to really shine.
Both gardens and manuscripts require tending. They require care. And, if things go well, you reap the fruits of your labors. That’s the best part. And that’s what makes both so incredibly rewarding.