I’ve made a lot of mistakes lately and have had some epic failures. One particular project took me two months before I finally just gave up and threw in the towel.
I’ve also had a lot of discouragement. That’s nothing new. Life is full of discouragement and that’s alright, even when it may not seem like it at the time.
Sometimes when you’ve worked so hard for something, you have nothing at the end to show for it. Worse, you might have equipment lying about that’s not being used, reminding you of the money and time you spent only to give up at the end.
But you know what’s great about writing? Writing is like growing onions.
Now how in the world is writing like growing onions? That seems like quite the stretch doesn’t it?
When you grow onions, you often start out with something small like a seed or an onion start.
Here’s two ways that works with writing:
First. As a writer, you have to start somewhere. Did you start as a child with the wonder of creating your own stapled construction paper book? Did you start with a class on basic story structure? Chances are, none of us started out as a fully grown onion, but needed to be taught and “watered” along the way.
Second. Every story, article, poem or what-have-you, started out as a seed -an idea. Then through work, you had to help that piece of writing grow.
The next way that writing is like growing onions is that it’s ok to make mistakes.
I am fairly new to growing onions. I tried five or six years ago and really had an epic failure. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot about gardening and so I thought I’d try my hand at growing onions again, applying all my accumulated knowledge. Everything was going great until I learned I had made a typical rookie mistake. I let my onions bolt (bloom). Apparently this stops the onion bulb from developing properly and long term storage of the onion might not be possible.
As writers, particularly new writers, we all make mistakes. Sometimes they are epic mistakes and sometimes they are only minor ones. It’s ok to learn from these mistakes and try again, and again, and again. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes.
Even if you make mistakes, you still have something to show for it.
The best way that writing is like growing onions, is that even if you do make a mistake, you still have something to show for it. With onions, you can pull up and use the onion pretty much at any point in the growing process. There’s no reason to throw it all away a sulk. You can enjoy the blooms if you get them and you can still enjoy the amazing flavor of homegrown onions.
With writing, even though you may have made mistakes, you’ve still written something. You can try to fix it or make the best of it. You can learn from it and you can even enjoy your writing, epic flaws and all.
What else is writing like?