Tell More Stories.
Back in December I declared that this was my goal moving forward. The more I know about gardening and the more I write about it, the more I see that it is all about the stories. As a professional garden writer I am supposed to identify myself as an expert and make sure to position myself in that way in order to rise above the herd and increase my value. “Citizens of the World, I have all of your gardening answers!” But the reality is that while I have learned a lot, there is far, far more that I do not know. Infinitely more. And other things that I forget. This is not a bad thing. It keeps me humble. It’s also a challenge to learn and a guarantee that I will never be bored — that I can carry this obsession with plants through the whole of my life and it will always be as vivid, dynamic, and alive as it is right now. Maybe even more-so.
Which leads me back to Tell More Stories.
These days, even if I have something how-to up my sleeve, I aim to tell it as a story. But there are still more stories that I want to tell. Stories about what gardening means to me the person, and how much sticking my hands into the earth has brought me to myself. And there are other stories, too. Stories about vulnerability, anger and deep sadness; stories that stay balled up inside me because I keep telling myself that they are too much, dangerous, and they should not be put onto paper or said out loud. Or I don’t have the words. Or when I have the words that they are not the right words and who am I to write them? And who will care what I have to say? And in gardening of all genres. Such a happy-go-lucky hobby. And here I come, mucking it up with my messiness.
It’s funny. So much about gardening is emotional: finding joy, working through pain, digging away at our anger, gently nurturing ourselves as we show our plants the care and tenderness we need to give ourselves. It surprises me how much these topics are avoided.
A Creative Writing Club for People Who Love to Garden
I want to write more stories. And while I am doing it, there are so many more still that I want to tell. So I started to take down ideas to help me dig in further. In doing so, I imagined that some of you out there are like me and could also benefit from some prompts and a little encouragement. And that’s where the idea for the Grow Write Guild came from. Every two weeks I will post a writing prompt. Some will be really simple and others will encourage a longer response. Some will be just one sentence, while others will include further hints to get you thinking about different ways that you can approach the topic.
You can choose to follow along and write a response that is made public on your own blog or kept completely private. Should you choose to make it public, come back to this site and share it in the comments by posting a link to the work. Even if you don’t make it public, I’d love it if you came back to share how the prompt worked out for you.
I’ve created a permanent page for the Grow Write Guild on this site that includes all of the info you will need as well as an evolving FAQ. Over time the prompts will also appear there so that they are easy to find later on.
Tomorrow I will post the first prompt.
Let’s write our stories together.
A special thanks to Davin Risk who illustrated a beautiful club insignia for us.