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October 23, 2014 / diannegray

My mind is a garden

I’ve been suffering a severe bout of writer’s block for some time now, so I’ve taken out my frustration on the garden. I’ve cleared out decades of weeds, prepared the ground, planted seeds, pulled out more weeds and watered my babies into existence (then pulled out more weeds – they sprout everywhere!)

This has got me thinking (which can be a good or bad thing), that gardening is a lot like writing.

There are mountains of weeds in my mind that need clearing out. I guess weeds are something and a good sign that the fields of my mind aren’t barren. But there’s been no control over the growth. I’ve let things in and allowed them to grow without weeding them out. Instead of focusing on plants of substance I’ve been focusing on the negative things that creep in and grow so big that only a tractor can pull them out by the roots. Yeah okay, that sounds painful…

When we write we need to focus on the plants of substance and get rid of the weeds. We can clear the ground and plant the seeds, but we can’t expect them to grow without water and care (and pulling more weeds that sprout around them). Anyone can think of a story, but preparing it and spending the time to nurture it into existence is an art.

I see the farmers in this area out there every day on their tractors. They seem to work dawn till dusk seven days a week. They’re relentless because they have to be – after all, it’s their livelihood. They see me working in my garden every day. They give me a wave and tell me I work too hard. I give them a wave and tell them they work too hard. It’s like Groundhog Day, but sometimes you need that when you’re clearing the crap from the garden of your mind.

I gather the leftover mud and old sugar cane leaves from the fields and put them in my garden. I guess in that sense I’m harvesting what is discarded to add nutrients to the soil. When I write, I use experiences and emotions in the same way to add layers and sustenance to my stories.

Growth has its seasons and after all the work I’ve done on the RUC and in the garden I feel like I’m just coming into Spring.

All of the above is just a quick snapshot of my messy mind (sorry, I couldn’t take a photo).

Below are photos of how the real garden is progressing.

The corns seems to be growing well. I've put wire over the ground to stop the bandicoots from digging.

The corn seems to be growing well. I’m staggering the planting so that it doesn’t all fruit at once. I’ve put wire over the ground to stop the bandicoots from digging it up.

For your viewing pleasure, a close up of the corn

For your viewing pleasure, a close-up of the corn

The seriously sick avocado plant that was in a pot for 12 months has now bust to life with new leaves and flowers

The seriously sick avocado tree that was in a pot for 12 months has now burst to life with new leaves and flowers

I saved the old green laundry tubs from being trashed and planted cucumber in them. On the right is the old boiler and I planted zucchini in it

I saved the old green cement laundry tub from being trashed and I planted cucumber in  it. On the right is the old boiler that I dragged into the garden  to use for zucchini plants. I just love recycling!

My passion fruit vines are growing like Jack and the Beanstalk and I found this beauty the other day

My passion fruit vines are growing like Jack and the Beanstalk and I found this beauty the other day

Speaking of gardens – check out the latest review of my book Wolf Pear  by the amazing author Billy Ray Chitwood

Do you ever take two things, like gardening and writing, and compare them – or is my mind just growing nut trees?

Have a great week


Leave a Comment
  1. Jennifer's Journal / Oct 23 2014 7:24 am

    Writing is a lot like gardening. Amazing how a few words strung tongether is the beginning, but can grow into an entire book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 23 2014 7:49 am

      So true, Jennifer. I’m always amazed that the arrangement of letters lead to so many words and end up being an entire story that can change lives. I’ve got a lot of story ‘seeds’ in my mind, it’s just a matter of bringing them to fruition! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Theo Fenraven / Oct 23 2014 7:26 am

    Nice analogy. Your garden looks great. I have tomatoes and jalapeno peppers growing right now. In Florida, this is when the growing season is, while up north in MN and WI, snow is about to fall.

    Glad I moved! 🙂


    • diannegray / Oct 23 2014 7:51 am

      You seem so much more relaxed now. I’m glad you moved too! 😀

      The garden is coming along very well. In the tropics just about anything grows (apart from stone fruit) so it’s perfect. I also find watering very cathartic (but I think you already know that) 😉


  3. Carrie Rubin / Oct 23 2014 7:30 am

    All that time in the garden will probably help your writing. It’s amazing what our brain processes when it’s focused on something else. It’s like a steady undercurrent of thought, and occasionally useful tidbits surface. Just keep a notebook handy so you can jot them down while you’re playing in the dirt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 23 2014 7:54 am

      LOL – I love playing in the dirt and always have (I guess it’s the tomboy coming out in me). It’s amazing how boring repetitive actions can get the mind working in overdrive. After I drafted this post I wrote the first five pages of a new story 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  4. JackieP / Oct 23 2014 7:48 am

    I think a good mind is like a good garden. Full of manure. LOL kidding!! I thought your analogy was very good. Plus like Carrie stated, nothing like doing something else to let ideas grow in your mind. It looks like you did put a whole lot of work in the garden. I admire your energy Dianne! Can you send me some?? xxx


    • diannegray / Oct 23 2014 7:56 am

      Manure is the key, Jackie! LOL. Sometimes the birds fly over and crap on the garden and weeds grow there – there’s an entire analogy I could write on that one! haaaaa!
      Sending you a load of energy right now 😉 xxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Letizia / Oct 23 2014 8:09 am

    Someone once said that a garden is an ongoing work of art and that fits in quite well with your post! I always think of that when I garden, that I am creating (or destroying, haha) something, trying to shape nature, but it’s constantly in motion. I’m sure that during all your gardening, your subconscious is working away at something. Hopefully it will share it with your conscious self soon 😉


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:19 am

      I’ve seen some magnificent gardens that truly are ‘works of art’, Letizia! It’s amazing when we take the elements of nature and make them into something positive and satisfying. I’m knocking on that subconscious door and asking it to share it’s secrets, hopefully it’ll open soon 😀


  6. Christina Houen / Oct 23 2014 8:41 am

    What a lovely mini-essay, on gardening and writing. I”ve met this metaphor before, and it strikes me that in your rendering of it there is nothing to regret. Your energy shows in very creative ways in the lovely photos, and the essay itself is poetic and engaging memoir. What writer’s block?

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:21 am

      Awww – thank you, Christina. What a beautiful comment. After I drafted this post I actually wrote several pages of a new story – it must have kick-started the writing motor in my brain 😀


  7. Jill Weatherholt / Oct 23 2014 8:47 am

    Your garden is lovely, Dianne! You certainly have a green thumb. I love your analogy. Many things we do with our hands whether it’s gardening, cooking or knitting relax the mind and allows the writing juices to flow. For me, it’s working jigsaw puzzles…I’m not big on cooking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:24 am

      I was going to write a post on cooking, Jill, and show the latest pictures of the ‘flat’ muffins I made (LOL). My cooking leaves a lot to be desired. I’m also a puzzle person and love hearing the different cogs of my mind tick over when I dive into a a new puzzle – I guess gardening is like solving a puzzle as well, everything has to fit for the picture to emerge 😉


      • Jill Weatherholt / Oct 24 2014 8:41 am

        Ha ha! Perhaps we’re related, Dianne. 🙂 I’ve been thinking about writing a post about my first attempt to cook a Thanksgiving turkey…that was ten years ago and I’ve never tried again.
        I love puzzles, in fact, my nickname by some is puzzle girl. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ruth Rainwater / Oct 23 2014 9:02 am

    Great garden. And sometimes getting away from writing is like a vacation for the mind. You can come back refreshed and then write like gangbusters for a while. I haven’t written anything, other than blog posts and comments and facebook posts, in over a year. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and I’m trying to decide if my vacation from writing was long enough or too long for me to get back into it. November 1st will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:27 am

      Best of luck with it, Ruth. You’ve had good reason to take a break from writing, but your blog posts are wonderful shorts of a life story just waiting to be published xxxx


      • Ruth Rainwater / Oct 24 2014 10:57 am

        I had thought about doing something like that, but I think it needs to be later.


  9. Polysyllabic Profundities / Oct 23 2014 9:06 am

    I’ve been much the same way, minus the garden since we are in the middle of our Autumn season. I do fully agree with the weeds sprouting and growing in my mind, even at this time of year for me. I hope my writing garden will, one day, be as bountiful as yours. Your ideas are bound to blossom soon, my friend. 🙂


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:29 am

      Thank you, Susan. I just need to slash those brain weeds 😉 Best of luck with your writing and I love the ‘blossom’ analogy you use xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. EllaDee / Oct 23 2014 9:11 am

    The G.O. will testify that I’m the Queen of Analogy and find it almost impossible to relate something without an associated story…
    I love your recycle gardening containers… note to self, borrow this idea!… and also the mesh barrier as we have a resident bandicoot and giant old cranky possum and I hadn’t considered their place in my vege garden plans.
    I find if my attempts at mental creativity are met with a bounceback message the best thing to do is get my hands busy working or legs busy walking… it seems to release ideas if only via Murphy’s Law of resultant inconvenience of trying to record same while otherwise engaged 🙂


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:38 am

      The mesh on the ground has worked brilliantly for the bandicoots – they don’t eat the corn, they just like to dig under it to eat the grubs and this undermines the roots. I would come out in the morning and they would all have fallen over! Now they can’t get under it. We don’t have possums here, but when we used to live further south we did and I’d spray chili around the plants and they didn’t like that at all 😀
      The old cement tubs are beautiful and it’s really handy to grow thing ‘off the ground’.
      Like you, I also keep my hands busy and get my legs walking. There’s something about that physical activity that gets the blood pumping to the brain! xxxx


  11. nrhatch / Oct 23 2014 9:44 am

    I hope you reap all that you sow ~ and keep the weeds at bay! :mrgreen:

    Liked by 1 person

    • nrhatch / Oct 23 2014 9:57 am

      And I love your recycling efforts!


      • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:40 am

        I’m an old recycler from way back. I have to keep it in check so I don’t turn into one of those hoarders you see on the TV – yikes! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:39 am

      Me too, Nancy! 😀


  12. anotherday2paradise / Oct 23 2014 10:13 am

    A very good analogy, Dianne. Your garden is now showing the fruits of your labours. So much work and effort. Well done. 🙂


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:42 am

      Thank you, Sylvia. I’m looking forward to see your new garden (and I still love the fact that you have such a healthy banana tree in the yard!) 😀


  13. John / Oct 23 2014 10:18 am

    No, no nut trees, silly! I think it’s a fine comparison. Love that cement tub, so many uses for it. Hoping your blockage is soon overrun with weeds and you begin writing anew. 😉


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:44 am

      Thanks so much, John. I love fossicking through the shed and finding things to use in the garden. That cement tub was a bonus! 😀


  14. avwalters / Oct 23 2014 10:26 am

    I often think that writing is like gardening–so if you’re crazy–so am I. Enjoy the time in the garden, it heals the soul and gives you ways to make writing rich and tangible.


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:47 am

      So true, Alta. Getting into the garden is very good for the soul and a great connection to the earth. I sometimes think of kids who live in the city and their feet have never touched anything other than cement. I think that would really drive me crazy. I must be a nature baby! 😀


  15. Jacqui Murray / Oct 23 2014 11:17 am

    Almost makes me want to take up gardening.

    But not quite.

    Is it breaking through the writer’s block?


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:55 am

      I think it’s working and then writing this post made a fairly big crack through the writer’s block, Jacqui 😉


      • Jacqui Murray / Oct 29 2014 1:14 am

        I’ve been avoiding my WIP for about six months. I’m still writing, but every time I think it’s time to return to my fiction, I find another non-fic to take up a few weeks. I have to finish this book, finish its sequel (which is already almost done) and move on.


        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Oct 29 2014 3:24 am

        I feel your pain xxx


  16. T. W. Dittmer / Oct 23 2014 12:20 pm

    There are a lot of approaches to working out creative kinks, some of them out there pretty far, past the exosphere even.

    Yours sounds pretty level-headed, and shows your attachment to the earth. Best wishes, Dianne.

    Work your soil. I’m looking forward to seeing what pops up.


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 7:56 am

      LOL – I love this comment, Tim. Thank you 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • T. W. Dittmer / Oct 24 2014 10:35 am

        I sure wish I would have thought to say your approach is pretty down to earth. 😛

        Get your hands dirty. Enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. danniehill / Oct 23 2014 12:22 pm

    A fine looking garden and I hope yo have a bumper crop from your mind as well.


  18. Yolanda M. / Oct 23 2014 1:06 pm

    Wonderful analogy Dianne 🙂 I think we are very much alike. I tend to want to get my hands dirty and I do have a passion for pulling out weeds 😀 very cathartic. What works best for me though is walking – clears away cobwebs and mental blocks. Bandicoots? had to look them up.


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:00 am

      Walking is great, Yolanda. I push myself to take the dogs for a long walk to the creek every afternoon (rain, hail, or shine). That clears away anything that has troubled me through the day. Bandicoots are really cute little creatures, but they love digging in the garden more than I do! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Pagadan / Oct 23 2014 1:39 pm

    I love your garden and your recycled containers.


    • starproms / Oct 24 2014 6:33 am

      Yes you have worked hard and the garden is coming on beautifully. I love to see the plants, which I cannot grow in my climate, growing and thriving. Now I’m going to read that review. It will be interesting I’m sure, since I’ve just completed the book myself. I loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:00 am

      Those containers came in very handy! 😀


  20. davidprosser / Oct 23 2014 1:52 pm

    I think I need a little hard labour in your garden Dianne to see if I can clear a few weeds from my overgrown mind too.
    If you mind is now like your garden you must have plenty of new growth in there and very few weeds.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:02 am

      Thanks so much, David. Maybe I could hire my garden out to writers or start a ‘clear the cobwebs’ campaign!

      xxx Massive Hugs to you too, my friend xxx


  21. bulldog / Oct 23 2014 2:31 pm

    If you want me to garden … then have the Springboks play like idiots against the Aussies or All blacks… I get so frustrated I garden with a freakish speed ’till the game is over…

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:07 am

      Haaaaa! This reminds me of my sister who gets out her exercise machine while watching the football. The worse her team plays the more muscle she gains! LOL

      I hope the Springboks do well in November against those poms and the Irish 😉


  22. Photos With Finesse / Oct 23 2014 2:41 pm

    I’m envious of your garden – but not of your Bandicoots (had to go look them up.) I’m not a very analogous (is that even a word) person – particularly as it pertains to photography. I see, I shoot. My canvas is never blank. Yikes – I think I just compared it to artistry. Ansel Adams was clearly a little more creative. “Some photographers take reality…and impose the domination of their own thought and spirit. Others come before reality more tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation.”


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:13 am

      I love that quote, Suzan – he was an amazing man who left a great legacy

      The bandicoots are actually quite cute little things, but they love digging in the garden more than I do 😉 I’m really looking forward to tasting that corn! .

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Minuscule Moments / Oct 23 2014 2:55 pm

    Dianne I hope the garden produce is bountiful and your writing comes back to you in a moment of unexpected day dreams. Your garden looks awesome. Wolf Pear is a fantastic read and I know there will be plenty more.


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:16 am

      Thanks so much, Kath. I thought of Wolf Pear when I wrote this post (but there’s no body in my garden! lol)

      I felt my writing passion emerge when I wrote this post and then I wrote a few pages of a new story. My mind feels like I’m pulling that string on the lawn mower trying to get it to kick in and zoom off 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Minuscule Moments / Oct 25 2014 5:19 am

        You know that if you just show up at your writing desk, something happens. You have such a talent, your stories were meant to be shared and enjoyed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Oct 25 2014 7:46 am

        Thank you so much xxxx


  24. Gallivanta / Oct 23 2014 5:17 pm

    Glad to read that your time in the garden has unblocked the writer’s block. Does the new story line involve bandicoots, recycled containers and tidy rows of vegetables, by any chance? Great review for Wolf Pear. I have had to stop reading Let Sleeping Gods Lie for a bit. Why? Because I am afraid of how it will end!!!!!! LOL, what a wimp am I.


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:19 am

      Oh dear! Who knows what will happen in Let Sleeping Gods Lie 😉 If you don’t like the ending I can always write a new one for you xxx

      I think my new story should involve bandicoots, recycled containers and tidy rows of vegetables – although the way my mind works, there would have to be something inherently sinister or mysterious about the entire thing 😀


      • Gallivanta / Oct 24 2014 1:40 pm

        Oh that is kind of you!!!!! Bandicoots are mysterious creatures. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  25. bodhisattvaintraining / Oct 23 2014 7:15 pm

    creating 🙂


  26. Denise Hisey / Oct 23 2014 11:00 pm

    Hey Dianne, my gardening friend used to tell me “a weed is just a plant in the wrong place.”
    Maybe your stories are somehow similar ? 😉


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:22 am

      That’s a fantastic thought, Denise. Now you’ve REALLY got me thinking! Instead of pulling out those weeds in my head I could just move them around and they may lead to one big story 😀
      Thank you xxxx


  27. prior / Oct 24 2014 12:58 am

    Dianne – what a wonderful post – and when i garden I usually get at least one analogy of this or that – and well, it looks like you got awhile bunch from this time in the garden – so nice.
    also, I felt inspired when you wrote about the “sick avocado tree” bursting with new life.

    oh, and one little tidbit – just something to think about with recycling certain things – you want to watch for heavy metal contaminants. I only say this because I have learned a lot about health and environment this year – and well, everyone knows about microbes and fungi and I also learned that gardeners sometimes can be exposed to certain agrobacterium – but that is not why I wanted to leave a comment.
    It was when i saw that boiler holding plants – it may be fine, but be very careful because not all metals are food grade – and actually, some of the ones we though were food grade are still leaking deposits – and it is not just aluminum – but copper pipes – sheep stainless steel – etc. – and sometimes metal objects that were built so long ago may just not be ideal for growing food.
    just something to think about

    and again, fun post – enjoyed it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:39 am

      We used to cook our mud crabs in that round white boiler so I hope it’s not leeching poison! Yikes. The big green tub is all cement, but who knows what they used to make cement out of in the old days.

      I’m really happy with the avocado tree and the fact that it may bear fruit this year is fantastic. It was so pot-bound I didn’t think it would survive the shock of being replanted, but it’s worked 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • prior / Oct 24 2014 9:10 pm

        well I kinda think that the cement tubs and other things from way back when are probably better than some of the plastics of today – because not all plastics are created equal and well… cement feels okay to me – hm – and your pic reminds me of the soap stone sink we used to have in the cellar of our Denver home.
        have a great weekend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Peter / Oct 24 2014 1:05 am

    Dianne, for 25 years I was a bi-vocational pastor … and one of the lessons I learned early on was that you can’t be a fountain to others if you don’t mind the water in your well. Sometimes the brain needs nourishment if it’s going to have something to share — even when that something is fiction.
    Use the time well. Water yourself, not just your garden. You’ve been doing enough weeding…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:30 am

      I just love those words, Peter “you can’t be a fountain to others if you don’t mind the water in your well”. That’s so true 😉 Thank you for the reminder xxx


      • Peter / Oct 24 2014 10:43 pm

        You’re welcome my friend. The simple idea that there has to be something INSIDE before you can share it OUTSIDE is perhaps too simple for many modern day thinkers. I see too many people spouting off about all sorts of stuff they know nothing about. But AUTHENTICITY is always evident. Perhaps your brain just needs to catch up with the rest of you so that your words can have the gravitas they deserve. Cheers, Peter

        Liked by 1 person

  29. restlessjo / Oct 24 2014 6:42 am

    For someone as prolific as you, the odd lapse is acceptable, surely? And look at what you’ve achieved meantime! The words will come a-tumbling again, I’m sure. Enjoy the lull 🙂 Hugs!


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:33 am

      I love the way you use the word “a-tumbling”, Jo. I will be so happy when the words come a-tumbling again. The garden and our lovely walks together are very inspiring! 😀


  30. jannatwrites / Oct 24 2014 6:44 am

    I think of writing analogies sometimes, too! The garden is a great one. Your work in the garden will probably yield healthy plants AND sort out your writing too. It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes a little distraction is just what we need. Hope the garden and writing flourish 🙂


    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:35 am

      Thanks so much, Janna. I look froward to reading your writing – you’re an inspiration! 😀


  31. Janna G. Noelle / Oct 24 2014 8:27 am

    I was just reading somewhere yesterday that the reason artists get blocked is because they require a period of dormancy, like in nature, to replenish and regenerate. A tree was given as an example, with the fact that a tree doesn’t bear fruit continuous. It’s fitting that you’re working in a garden at this time. Enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2014 8:42 am

      That’s a fantastic analogy, Janna. I guess if we constantly bore fruit we’d be completely drained after a while. I’ve gone through a dormant time and hopefully all that energy has built up like a big spring and will soon unleash! 😀


  32. agjorgenson / Oct 24 2014 11:39 am

    I like this comparison, although it doesn’t exactly work for me since I don’t really garden. I find writing to be a bit like drawing, though. A blank page and a blank canvas are both inviting and frightening. It is easy to turn away, but they keep calling all the same.


  33. Roy McCarthy / Oct 24 2014 5:24 pm

    You certainly have a capacity for hard, manual work Diane. I get blisters and a sore back just contemplating the prospect. Strange as my Dad was a hard-as-nails factory worker. You must get a deep satisfaction over this aspect of your creativity? As for the writing, well if you never wrote another word you have a wonderful legacy.


    • diannegray / Oct 25 2014 7:44 am

      That’s such a lovely thing to say, Roy! I’m very flattered xxx

      I guess gardening is a creative venture and you’re right, I do like hard manual labour (as long as I’m not forced to do it) 😉


  34. Kezandmark / Oct 25 2014 10:37 am

    Well said.. Some days the words flow and other days they are just buried under crap.


  35. donnajeanmcdunn / Oct 25 2014 12:59 pm

    Very nice analogy Dianne and yes, I do like to compare things to writing, it makes it easier to understand how everything fits together in this world of ours.


    • diannegray / Oct 26 2014 6:35 am

      And this world can be a very confusing place sometimes, Donna – it’s good to be able to make sense of things when we compare them to writing 😉


  36. ramblingsfromamum / Oct 25 2014 7:41 pm

    Your mind is growing nut trees 🙊xxx sorry dats all I got… Tired xxx


  37. pommepal / Oct 25 2014 7:55 pm

    Love to see how your garden is growing Dianne, you will reap the rewards of your frustration when the crops bear fruit and I’m sure you will also unblock that block very soon…I find gardening is so therapeutic and I must admit when I garden my mind is on the garden around me. Maybe that is why I can’t write a book….

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 26 2014 6:43 am

      I’d love to read a book about your travels! If you ever write one, let me know 😀


      • pommepal / Oct 26 2014 7:06 am

        Lots of stories Dianne but I have not got that special way with words that would sustain a readers interest, I rely on my photos. I admire creative authors, it is gift you have.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Andrea Stephenson / Oct 26 2014 2:01 am

    Great metaphor for writing Dianne – our ideas are just like seeds that need nurturing, but our minds also need ploughing regularly to prepare the ground for them 🙂


    • diannegray / Oct 26 2014 6:46 am

      Oh yes – so true, a bit of ploughing for the mind. What a great analogy 😀


  39. Britt Skrabanek / Oct 26 2014 3:41 am

    Dude, I love how you used the tub and boiler as planters. So awesome! Great comparison. I don’t have a garden but I take out my aggression on my apartment whenever I need to clear out my mind.

    I really enjoy cleaning. Since I was a kid, it has been a meditative thing for me. I remember when we lived in Dallas, everybody—even people our age back then in their 20’s—had housekeepers come in weekly. I said…hell no! I’m not paying for someone to take that away from me AND be all up in my business. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Oct 26 2014 6:50 am

      Haaaa – you’re so cool, Britt. I could just imagine you saying that to someone 😀

      I clean when I don’t have a garden, particularly if I’m worried about something. Hubby always knows when I’m stressed because the house is spotless! 😉


      • Britt Skrabanek / Oct 26 2014 8:33 am

        Same here. Mr. H calls it “Hausfrau”. I put a bandana on my head and go to town.

        Liked by 1 person

  40. ParentingIsFunny / Oct 26 2014 3:58 am

    So beautiful. We have a garden too, and it brings me such joy when things sprout. Part of that is because we’re terrible gardeners and having things sprout is a rarity. Regardless, I share your pleasure!


    • diannegray / Oct 26 2014 6:52 am

      I’m still a novice with gardening so I’m always in awe of things actually working! And you’re right about the joy when seeing things sprout – it’s amazing how something so natural and simple can bring so much pleasure xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  41. beeblu / Oct 26 2014 11:00 am

    Such an effective metaphor for the mind. Weeding and gardening is therapeutic. I’m sorry that I cannot offer any tips on ridding the writing mind of weeds – I’ve been writing the same novel for 4 years and I still haven’t moved past the plotline, haha.


    • diannegray / Oct 27 2014 6:41 am

      I find weeding and gardening very therapeutic – particularly the watering part 😉

      Sometimes it’s hard to move past the plotline – getting those words in the right order on the page is hard work! 😀


  42. reneejohnsonwrites / Oct 27 2014 10:13 am

    Well said. We root around in our brains looking for the right words, weeding out the bad ideas, and harvesting great stories — at least if we have fertilized appropriately. All that gardening will pay off.


    • diannegray / Oct 27 2014 2:47 pm

      Oh too true, Renee! You’re a woman after my own heart 😀


  43. susipet / Oct 27 2014 5:28 pm

    what a productive way to deal with your writers block!


  44. starproms / Oct 27 2014 6:27 pm

    I’ve written a review on wolf Pear for you on 😊


    • diannegray / Oct 28 2014 7:15 am

      Thank you so much. I just read the review and it’s fantastic. You’ve made my day! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  45. billyraychitwood1 / Oct 28 2014 2:49 am

    Love your metaphors! Now, clean your hands of the garden dirt and write a book…he says, trying to be amusing! 🙂 xo


    • diannegray / Oct 28 2014 7:17 am

      I’m getting there 😀 Just a few more road blocks to clear and weeds to pull and then I’ll be getting back into it! 😉


  46. Kate Johnston / Oct 28 2014 7:12 am

    I like the comparison, and I think in a lot of cases, writing takes a hell of a lot of weeding before anything of worth starts sprouting. I have a feeling that is what happened with my first novel and one of the big reasons I took so damn long with it. Congrats on your unsurprisingly amazing review!


    • diannegray / Oct 28 2014 7:31 am

      Thanks so much, Kate! The review was a lovely surprise out of the blue 😀

      I’m glad you agree with the comparison – those weeds are everywhere 😉


  47. Kourtney Heintz / Oct 29 2014 8:04 am

    I can see how the comparison fits. It takes lots of time and effort for writing and gardening to bear fruit. 🙂


  48. jmmcdowell / Oct 31 2014 9:35 am

    I think the analogy between gardening and writing is a good one. So many ideas can flit through our brains, but we need to learn to recognize which ones are good (the plants we want to nurture and raise) and which ones aren’t (the weeds). And that process continues as we write and edit. The weeds (poorly defined characters, meandering plot lines, etc.) are always ready to take root and smother the real story if we let them.

    I also love the way you’re reusing old items from around the farm for your current garden!


    • diannegray / Nov 3 2014 8:23 am

      I’m so glad you agree, JM. I have a load of weeds in my brain that I put away for another time – as they say, ‘weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place’ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  49. kezandmark / Nov 3 2014 9:16 pm

    I am surprised that strapping husband of yours did not jump in and clear it for you. He should take care of your sensitive writing hands. Hard labor is very therapeutic, unless you have to do it for a living, then it becomes an incentive to find alternate ways to make a living.


    • diannegray / Nov 4 2014 1:11 pm

      John cleared most of it with the tractor (I was too scared of snakes!) so i guess that’s something to be thankful for (and he was sober) 😀


      • kezandmark / Nov 4 2014 1:14 pm

        Sober?? We have never experienced John in a close local to a building sober before. Our history with him in such confines as been less than successful previously

        Liked by 1 person

  50. cestlavie22 / Nov 4 2014 12:03 am

    Love this analogy! For me writing has always been a lot like dance but I can certainly see the connection to gardening. Lovely post and awesome pictures!


    • diannegray / Nov 4 2014 1:12 pm

      Okay – I might start dancing around the garden this afternoon. There’s no reason why we can’t mix gardening and dancing! 😉


  51. Luanne / Nov 5 2014 10:02 am

    It’s a great analogy. I wish I weren’t so unable to do other things when I’m writing. Gardening, scrapbooking, etc. all the out the window in the past couple of years. Sigh.I tried to find a contact for you through twitter, FB, or here. If you get a chance, email me at writersite.wordpress[at]gmail[dot]com!


    • diannegray / Nov 5 2014 11:52 am

      I see you found my twitter handle (it’s a bit obscure) 😉 Do you still want me to email you, or is that what you wanted to ask?


  52. Alarna Rose Gray / Nov 5 2014 7:45 pm

    I love your garden, and I love the comparison you’ve drawn. The act of actual gardening, I find, can help clear out some of those mental weeds…though I guess it doesn’t necessarily help with the actual writing! Such a wonderful sense of space you would have up there on the property 🙂


    • Alarna Rose Gray / Nov 5 2014 7:45 pm

      Ok, overuse of ‘actual’ there. Speaking of mental weeds 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Nov 6 2014 7:13 am

      Now that the sugar cane is cut at the back of the garden I have an overwhelming sense of space! I could never go back and live in the city 😉


  53. harulawordsthatserve / Nov 5 2014 11:10 pm

    I think it’s a very apt and effective analogy (and yes, I compare things all the time!), and I love the pictures of your garden:-) The corn looks fabulous…and I did chuckle at the mutual morning exchange of ‘you work too hard’. For sure it’s important to give focus and energy and nourishment to what you want to grow, and deny those things to what you don’t want to grow. I had a quick peek at the garden in my own mind while reading this – eek! Talk about weeds! But there is one plant growing healthy and strong, in spite of the weeds. Not sure what it will end up looking like, but it’s throwing up strong healthy shoots:-) Blessings, H xxx


    • diannegray / Nov 6 2014 7:15 am

      Best of luck with that beautiful plant in your mind Harula! May it bring flowers and fruits of joy xxxxx


  54. francisguenette / Nov 6 2014 1:43 am

    I’m in the process of trying to catch-up on a few favourite blogs and of course, Dianne, you are on the list. Love your analogy about gardening and writing and the similarities when it comes to pulling out the weeds. Remember though, the old saying about weeds – sometimes they get so entangled with the good stuff that to pull up those weeds means endangering the tiny, growing plants. Proceed with caution is all I have to say. Love your sprouting garden when we are busy here putting everything to bed for the winter.


    • diannegray / Nov 6 2014 7:17 am

      So true, Francis. It’s great to have you back in my neck of the woods! (pun intended) 😉


  55. Pamela / Nov 7 2014 9:48 pm

    Perfect metaphor!!! As a medical editor (and then an editor of many kinds of publications) I think of weeding often. As a writer, I prefer to think of the beautiful ‘flowers’ in my garden. 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 8 2014 9:34 am

      Ah – those writing weeds while editing can really take a lot of time to pull out, Pamela 😉

      I’ve recently noticed some of the weeds in my garden have beautiful flowers so I’m at a loss as to whether I pull them or let them bloom 😀


  56. clarbojahn / Nov 8 2014 6:09 am

    Janna T. sent me here and I am glad. Love this blog post and some others I read while perusing it. I am not religious at present but once when I was this very metaphor was used for ones spiritual life. The garden being your spiritual self.

    You must be in Australia due to the curious use of names I’m not familiar with, ie: Bandycoots. You have done a fantastic job of getting your garden ready for spring. It is fall here in Northern Virginia in USA. It is going down to thirty degrees Farinhiet tonight and all the leaves are off the trees.

    This was a refreshing change of pace. So nice to meet you! 🙂


    • diannegray / Nov 8 2014 9:39 am

      I’m so glad you dropped in to say hello, Clar! It’s lovely to see you here and a wonderful surprise 😀

      I love the way you relate to the garden as my spiritual self, that is so true because we are all gardeners of our own destiny so whatever grows was planted and fed by us xxx

      Yes, I am in Australia. The top part where the weather is very tropical and the scenery is stunning.


      • clarbojahn / Nov 8 2014 10:09 pm

        Thanks, so very much, Dianne! You are so welcome here as well. Thanks so much for dropping by.

        I enjoyed your blog that is for sure. You are right about what you put in your spiritual garden grows to harvest later.



  57. Ste J / Nov 10 2014 6:05 am

    Taking your analogy of writing being like gardening, I think your fingers are the bees, they bounce around the keys, cross pollinating each other and bringing new words to you. The good thing about writing as opposed to weeding is that it is a lot quicker and easier on the back.


    • diannegray / Nov 10 2014 7:11 am

      So true, Ste! I love the bee analogy. I saw a lot of them on the flowers in the garden this morning, but next time I see them I’ll be looking at them in a whole new light 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  58. Fabulous Outdoors / Nov 10 2014 11:01 pm

    Very nice garden!


  59. moderndayruth / Nov 12 2014 5:42 pm

    I love the parallel you are making and i also believe that writing is very much like gardening… Judging by the the progress your garden is making, we are to expect yet another masterpiece from you – and soon!


    • diannegray / Nov 13 2014 6:54 am

      I’m getting into it now. Hopefully I’ll be finished soon and can move onto the next one 😉


  60. dex / Nov 13 2014 8:15 am

    Okay, this is (potentially) weird, even for me, and I write horror. But reading this, I immediately thought of something from the Bible. One of the parables Jesus told:

    Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

    “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

    “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

    “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

    “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

    It seems to me that the weeds and the crops (in this case, the good fiction stuff) have to grow together. They’re damn near inseparable. (See how I cursed to make up for quoting the Bible at you?) Often, I don’t know what’s a weed and what’s fit to eat until I see both on the page. As a writer, my harvesting is the editing process. The first draft is just wild sowing.

    That doesn’t really help with writer’s block, I know, but my point–if I have one–is this: if all you have to write are weeds, write that. Some of them my end up being edible.


    • diannegray / Nov 13 2014 2:43 pm

      What a fantastic comment! I often don’t know what a weed is either and have to wait to see how it grows before I separate it from the other plants. There’s a great saying that weeds are just plants in the wrong place 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • dex / Nov 15 2014 5:27 am

        I’m so glad you liked it. I put a lot of stock in Anne Lamott’s thoughts on first drafts: If you’ve not read that, you should. It’s great stuff. 🙂


  61. Amy Reese / Nov 15 2014 1:41 pm

    I find doing tasks like weeding and chores kind of free the mind, too. Something about doing repetitive tasks that put the mind at ease, making it possible for it to roam. That always happens to me, when I do dishes and stuff! Your garden looks amazing!


    • diannegray / Nov 16 2014 6:50 am

      You’re so right about repetitive tasks – they’re good for relaxing the mind 😉 I’m just on my way out to the garden now to do some watering. The corn is now as tall as I am! wow 😀


  62. Hazy Shades of Me / Nov 26 2014 4:11 am

    I always make comparisons. It’s one of my favorite things…connecting one passion to another. It’s amazing how it can almost always be done. We are all so connected in everything we do. Good post, Dianne!


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