This is the first full day of Spring. I am noticing all the flowers and bulbs that my wife has planted poking up through the ground. Even though there are still leaves and twigs around, the possibility of what is to come is inviting. I don’t know what she planted; I’m not sure she knows either. But their emergence will be an invigorating and worthwhile experience.

So, too, is it with writing. Somewhere in a short story, novella, or novel, we have planted SOMETHING. It might have been the possibility of a plot twist or a character quirk worth exploring. When the next season comes along (i.e. the next round of editing and revision) we are surprised at what we find. What WE ourselves have planted.

We clear out the detritus of the first (or second or third) draft to allow the story to grow. What non-writers sometimes have trouble understanding is that our works as writers are living and breathing entities. So many times you can read about writers not knowing where the story is going or a character doing something not originally intended.

We as writers are here to nurture the story and cultivate it until it can exist in its own framework without further assistance from us, except maybe a byline as recognition.

Here in Kansas, we have had an unbelievably hot summer and a winter where we experienced minus 17 degrees (air temp, not wind chill). At our house, we will evaluate our landscaping and see what survived the brutal extremes.

Here, at my computer, I will do the same, seeking out what portions failed to maintain their vibrancy. And I will clean the detritus. And I will cultivate my stories.

And they WILL grow.


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