Monday, October 12, 2009

Planting Roots--A Resurrected Post

It just occurred to me—as I’m running out the door to run errands—that it’s my day to blog here. And since I have a crazy busy week, I don’t have any deep thoughts to share. Well, actually, I probably do, but don’t really have time to sit down and pour them into my computer.

Actually, I’d rather do that than what I’m going to do in a minute. I’m getting a flu shot, so…well, yeah. Not fun. Anyway, rather than skip my day posting here and deny you my deep and undying wisdom, I’ve resurrected a blog I posted over at LDS Writer’s Blogck way back in April, 2006, hence the spring theme. This was officially my very first blog post ever, and reading it now, years later, I have to admit, it wasn’t all that bad. (Come visit us over there, where I post every Thursday. We talk a lot about writing and the processes involved.)

Enjoy my very old, yet new to you blog, and have a great October!

Planting Roots

By Nichole Giles

The other day the sun came out, the temperature jumped, and I decided it would be a great day to play in the dirt. Sunny days are perfect for planting, and I had some plants to replace. Having been in our home for two years this month, I had hoped to be finished planting shrubs and vines so that I could move on to planting more colorful things. And last summer, I was. For a day or two.

Last spring we got a dog, a female Golden Retriever. As dogs go, she is the calmest, most easy going dog I have ever met. She never barks, she never jumps on people, and she always minds the commands we give her. However, she does have one major flaw. Our dog likes to dig up plants. She didn’t just dig them up. Once she got hold of a new plant and pulled it from the ground, she then proceeded to rip it to shreds and drag its remains around the back yard.

Now I suppose you are wondering, what does this have to do with writing? When a writer puts words to a page (or screen), he or she is planting a root. With sunshine and nourishment and time (not to mention lots and lots of rewrites), that root will grow into something beautiful, something precious, something truly amazing.

And then someone, usually an editor (or critiquer), will rip it up, stomp on it, and drag it along the ground, making sure to leave tire marks where they drove over it.

When I found the remains of my once beautiful plants, I yelled at the dog, and banished her to her kennel, where she remained for several days. I only let her out when I could be out with her, guarding my newly planted roots. I replanted them, you see. The other day when I went outside, I could see tiny shoots peeking their little heads out of the soil screaming, “I’m alive! You didn’t think I’d live, but I did.”

And so will our work. We will take the shreds of what we once considered a perfectly beautiful story, and replant it. We’ll fix it, and nurse it, and give it time and faith. With those things it will grow into something publishable. Something that will make us proud.

This is the reason I went outside last weekend. I saw the old plants coming up, and it inspired me to plant some new ones. So I did.

P.S. In case you were considering it, I wouldn't suggest comparing your editor to a dog. Nor would it be a good idea to scream at them and whack their noses with your red-inked manuscript. For some reason, editors don't react well to those situations, and you may find yourself without one.


kersten campbell said...

That is so funny. I love it!

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, Kersten. Silly dogs, anyway, huh?