Post by Jenny
To all gardeners who are enjoying the fruits--and veggies--of your labors, my sun hat is off to you. My garden is pretty sad. Although I’ve gotten a couple of decent zucchinis and a few cherry tomatoes, the rest looks…unmotivated. The usually-reliable beans, peas, and broccoli have done zip-nothin.’ Same for the yellow squash. The herbs are wilting in the heat, though I am able to rouse them to semi-consciousness with daily watering.
The other day, I was tempted to pull most of it out and replace it with something foolproof. Plastic daisies from the craft store, maybe. Tacky, sure, but sturdy enough to survive a Colorado hailstorm. But when I looked at the calendar, I realized that it’s only the middle of summer. With any luck, I still have at least two good months of growing season, and a lot can happen in two months. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, broccoli.)
The middle can be a sticky place. The excitement of beginning is a memory, and the finished product is barely visible over the hill. Things in the middle may not look as you expected. They may be better, or they may be worse. They may require much more work than you ever anticipated. But they may also be hinting at rewards you never dreamed of. They may point you in an entirely new direction.
I am referring to gardens. But I’m also referring to any project that takes weeks/months/years to complete, such as—oh, gosh, let me see—a manuscript. If you’re feeling stuck in the middle of one of those, I wish I could offer you some easy solutions, such as Miracle-Gro or hungry ladybugs. Lacking that, my best advice is to keep at it. Put in the daily work. Tend what you’ve done and encourage new growth. Spend a quiet moment appreciating what you’ve accomplished. Don’t focus on the weeds, for those can be pulled out later. Celebrate each success, no matter how small. My first cherry tomato of the season was tiny, but it packed a lot of flavor.
What do you do when you’re feeling stuck in the middle with your writing?