On Blossoming

Photo of white blossoms on a fruit tree, by Barbara Ann Yoder.I was telling my friend Judy the other day about what I see so often in my garden: I’ll put in a plant and give it light and water and fertilizer and all that good stuff. I may even talk to the plant. I’m really encouraging it to grow. And nothing. It looks stunted. It’s trying. I’m trying. Why won’t it get any bigger? Did I do something wrong? Will it ever grow?

So I go into my office and I’m in a funk and then everything seems wrong. My work’s not coming the way I want it to. And I stall. I can’t write. I have to waste time. I hate wasting time. What am I doing wasting time? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be more productive? Why can’t I make this manuscript as good as I know it could be?

So then I go back out to the garden a few days later and still no growth, or not much anyway. I water the plant; I talk to it. Then back to my office and back to work. I work on my manuscript, but it’s so slow going.

And then I go back to the garden—maybe three weeks have passed by now; I’ve been in the garden every day, watering, weeding, talking to my plants—and suddenly I see that the plant I was worried about, the one that wouldn’t grow, has doubled in size. It found its vigor. It was storing up energy all that while, which is not anything I could see. It was getting ready for a spurt of growth, which is something I might have considered if I had bothered to write my observation down. Because I’ve seen the same phenomenon in so many of my garden plants, year after year.

And it occurs to me that when I can’t budge my energy or nudge my manuscript into shape, I’m just getting ready to blossom. I’m going to get through the thing that I think is holding me down but that is really precisely the thing I need to do. I am sitting and waiting, silently sinking roots into my material. The growth is coming. The story will be told, and I’m going to do a fine job of telling it.

How does your writing grow?


  1. I love it. Thank you for the reminder. Yes the growth is coming, even though I can’t see it. I just need to keep on watering and practicing and suddenly, the shift will happen.