Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing is Gardening, Gardening is Writing

I write like I garden.  I garden like I write.

Starting a new garden is like beginning a book.  Beginning a book is like starting a garden.  Nothing much gradually becomes something tangible and very personal.

If someone asks how I can turn sod into vegetables, all by hand, my answer is the truism, "bit by bit," as time passes, second by second.

Come to think of it, learning Schumann is like gardening is like writing.  Twenty minutes of blacks and whites seem like forever at first.  Then you gradually chip away at it until it's all there, in your fingertips.

I'm working on another huge update of one of my books.  On January 12, the Federal Reserve Board revised about half of a regulation.  You may have heard about the new credit card rules.  They're part of the package.  The Board's double-spaced release is 1155 pages long.

That's a big plot of sod.  I started planning on January 12, spading on January 13.  Now my seeds have sprouted.  See -- as intimidating as writing a book may seem, it can grow faster than a garden.  In a few days, those seeds will produce an update.

"Why can't you put me into print that fast?" Virginia can't leave me alone for a minute.

"Because you're more complicated," I say, "more imaginative.  You require much more thought."

"Than all those pages of legalese?" she says.  "I'm more fun, too."


1 comment:

  1. Mary Pannabecker SteinerJanuary 31, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    1155 pages sounds like a lot to me -- and I'm a master at writing long stuff. Of course, then our garden last summer started out pretty small, but by the wedding, well....