“Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.”
– E. B. White
There are times when I’m perusing news of various book launches, contract awards, or other delightful writerly news shared by friends, acquaintances, or authors I’ve never met. And I dream. I dream of what the cover of my first published novel might look like, of having some sort of major signing, or speaking at a major conference (although that last one comes with a mix of excitement and terror, in equal parts). The dreams can be about a brilliant, ground-breaking plot that has everyone talking for years, or a series that readers simply can’t get enough of. Sometimes they’re realistic, and most of the time they’re not, but that’s okay; dreams should be big, and bold, and sparkly bright.
I think of how my writing ideas can bloom into a reality of exciting events and the sharing of my own delightfully good news. Of course, dreams do not become reality without hard work, a significant investment of time and effort, and a willingness to simply keep trying. Seeds must be planted in the proper soil and location, watered, and so forth. I love digging my hands into rich earth, watering my new plants, and waiting anxiously for them to bloom. Likewise, I love starting a new story and having absolutely no idea what it might turn into–a short story, a novel, or often nothing at all.
But that’s okay, too. When we sink the seeds into the soil, we use more than we will need as plants. As the seeds sprout into seedlings, we thin them out, keeping fewer than sprouted. We might move them into bigger pots or a garden, and more still will be eaten or not get enough sun, and only the heartiest will survive to the point of blooming.
My ideas kind of work the same way. I have lots of them. Sometimes I write a paragraph before I get bored, sometimes a few pages. But then there are the ones that bloom. Big, bold, and there to be enjoyed until it’s time to plant another batch of seeds.