When I was growing up, I had to pick strawberries in my father’s garden nearly every day during the month of June. He didn’t plant things neatly in rows—he let things grow wherever they wanted, and rarely weeded out any unidentified plants for fear of losing some exciting new variety. By October, it always looked more like a small jungle consuming our backyard.
Sometimes my sister helped me pick. She would start at one corner of the patch and systematically work her way through each plant, leaving no berry behind.
My approach was a little more impulsive. I would start by picking the first strawberries that caught my eye. I jumped around the patch, taking only the juiciest, brightest ones that poked out from under the leaves, gobbling up half of them as I went. Only after I exhausted these, I would realize that my bucket was only half full, and I needed enough to make a whole pie. Then I would go back through each plant, lifting up the leaves to find the deformed, half-rotten, or bug-eaten berries that would fill up the bucket.
Although the pies I baked were nothing compared to store-bought, they were certainly not the cream of the crop.
My blog posts remind me of those pies, but without the sugar to cover up the rotten flavor. When I write, I start by scribbling down the best ideas and words that come to mind on a particular topic. Then I realize that my wild musings will make sense to no one but me, so I rack my brains to find some way to string it together in a remotely cohesive way. The result is a semi-coherent goulash of mixed metaphors and awkward transitions from conversational writing to academic jargon, stumbling along the windy dirt road that is this website.
I need to figure out a more effective writing process. Perhaps more revision is what I need. Or just more time, so that I’m not frantically typing into my phone on the way to a concert, hoping that I’ll get home with enough energy to copy and paste this into WordPress!