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Autumn and a new start is possible

14th October 2018 | Posted in Writing

With September over, the children back in school or at university and the holidays a distant dream, is it any easier to get back to regular writing?  I’ve always believed that the autumn is a good place for a fresh start; a time for setting or resetting goals. I’m sure it’s linked to the promise of the new school year and the crisp, clean pages of a new exercise book. Turning the page and writing the date at the top with all the promise that this book will not soon be covered with crossings out or the dreaded ticks, crosses and under linings in whatever colour pen the teacher chose that day, is an anchor to my younger self.

I’ve taken a few months off writing and for the first time I am reluctant to open the laptop. I have a plan for a novel which will be a big part of NaNoWriMo this year. Until then I tell myself I’m in editing mode. Yeah, right.

It isn’t that easy. Why? The garden has needed some extra tender loving care after the hot days in June and July. There are a few gaps where plants have succumbed, despite watering. Others have decided the cooler, damper times are ready for a huge growth spurt and pervious well-trained specimens are bursting from the borders. And so what am I doing? Taking cuttings, planting bulbs for the spring and reshaping untidy borders. I pretend it’s giving me time to think about all my writing projects. Except I’m working out if there really is space for another rose or another pot. At least when the weather is too cold, there’ll be no chance for excuses.


But writing is a bit like gardening. At the start comes all the hard work of creating structure. Weeding, pruning and tidying is like editing. Except does a gardener ever feel they can relax and enjoy the result? I suspect gardeners, like writers are continually identifying areas to improve, seeking new ideas and re shaping. And perhaps that is what makes both so compelling; there is always something to do. You’re never bored and there’s a purpose to every day. After all, the next piece of writing just might catapult you to fame and fortune. Just as the next summer might bring you the garden of your dreams.

We can all dream, can’t we? So with any new writing goals, let’s have a hefty slice of dreams too. For who wants a life without dreams?







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