Thursday, September 3, 2009
Be Like a Volunteer Flower
As I watered this morning, I was amazed at the number of volunteer flowers I have this year. You know the ones--flowers that you didn't plant, yet they somehow push their way through the earth, even in rough terrain and without much water. Think of the poster called Determination that was popular years ago. The poster featured a dry, cracked earth with a beautiful, stubborn flower pushing its way through the ground against all odds. I have four large pots chock full of such flowers this year. I planted petunias, which died, and in their place I started noticing little green sprouts. At first I pulled the green leaves thinking they were weeds. Then, I decided to water them. Now, they're the biggest flowers I have--several are a foot tall and in brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow with gorgeous, lush leaves. I'm not sure what they are but I love them--and their resolve. As writers, we face a tough road ahead just like volunteer flowers. We hear all about rejection letters, the gazillion other writers trying to break into the biz, the particular agents who may or may not take us on, the huge, overflowing slush piles, and the publishing industries that are floundering. We're bombared with different rules for various agencies and spend hours reading blogs and websites just to make sure we're dotting our "i's" and crossing our "t's." We wonder if real books are going away in lieu of ebooks. All this crosses our mind while we plod away. As we sit at our desks, hunched over our keyboards (in solitude no less), we must have the mindset of tenacious volunteer flowers, regardless of the odds. Are you going to be like a volunteer flower? I am.