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!

3 thoughts on “Gardening”

  1. Hmm, I was just talking to someone about alternative writing strategies such as writing while sleep deprived, or “write drunk, edit sober.”

    Actually, considering the volume, your writing strikes me as pretty good. If I were going to criticize something, I think it might be the depth and development of your ideas. When you have something that you’re dying to say, and you write something a bit longer, it seems as though it’s easier to pull everything together. I know that your goal now is to write something, every day, as opposed to writing the best post ever, once a month, but in the long term, writing half the posts might make them more than twice as valuable. Really being honest, a few times your posts have seemed like cop-outs, outlining a topic of discussion without getting to much actual discussion.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, several posts have certainly been cop-outs. This has been a helpful exercise, but as soon as the month is over (4 more days!) I’ll be taking a different approach to blogging.

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