Monday, September 10, 2012

When the Grass Isn't Greener

Post by Jenny

I’ve had a literal case of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” syndrome this summer. The green grass in question is my neighbor’s, which is so much lovelier than my own. Though both yards share the same intense southern exposure, she does not have the additional challenges of two active boys or a good-sized dog. (If you’ve ever wondered how much grass a 60 pound dog can destroy just by rolling, the answer is…well, a lot.)

After listening to me complain about our grass for the hundredth time, my husband patiently reminded me that we live in a dry climate. For those of you who care, the Köppen climate classification for Northern Colorado is BSk, the same as Punta Arenas, Chile, and Kabul, Afghanistan.  (If Köppen has you scratching your head, as it did me, suffice it to say our climate is semiarid.)

The next morning as I walked my dog around the neighborhood, thinking of things climatologically instead of just aesthetically, one lawn in particular caught my eye. Even after the hot, dry summer we’ve had, it is still so green and lush that I wouldn’t be surprised to find an anaconda stretched across it. (Okay, I would be a little surprised.) A nice lawn is a beautiful thing, but maintaining one grows more expensive and less practical every year. So, why do we do it? For a lot of homeowners out there, myself included, the answer may be because we’ve always done it that way.

In addition to being creatures of habit, many of us are flat-out resistant to change. (You can’t see me pointing an accusatory finger at myself right now, but trust me, I am.) But the status quo changes quite quickly, which means we should all periodically examine our methods. If you’ve not been experiencing the results you’ve hoped for with your writing, maybe it would behoove you, in the current climate, to tear up a bit of metaphorical turf. That might mean investigating different markets or avenues to publication, gracefully exiting the critique group that’s no longer a good fit, or getting out of the house a couple of times a week to write. Make an effort to reshape your writing landscape and see what happens.

What steps do you take to stay current with your writing?


Patricia Stoltey said...

Going to writers conferences helps me a lot, and also reading the latest novels (including YA). I wish I had the time and money to do more of both.

jnana said...

I like how you linked those two :)

Susan Kane said...

I read a variety of books--not sticking to any specific genre. Also write everyday about different topics.

We are also considered semi-arid, or even Mediterranean. It's dry.

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