I keep thinking about the leaves on the cabbage plants in my garden.  Their husky breadth stretching wide.  2671495796

Each time, I walk to the end of their bed, I peer down, expecting to see a brussels sprout-sized cabbage beginning.

But I don’t even know if cabbages begin by looking like brussels sprouts.  Maybe they start as buds and leaves grow around them.  Maybe they appear, fully-formed like goddesses.


Books. They sit on shelves, the cabbages of the library – fully-formed, done, dressed.  So much, we see these bound beauties and focus on them. We want done. Pages and pages of done.

But books grow slow – seeds to tiny, thick leaves to more leaves bright spread to buds that become bigger buds that become tiny cabbages that become those pieces we snap off to hoist with our two hands and enter into state fairs.

As  Americans, too much we expect done. We buy cabbages whole, as if they appeared finished.  We forget that dirt on the hairy roots of a carrot means it came from earth, and probably not too long ago.  We don’t even know that peanuts grow underground and don’t form, bespectacled, in a jar.

We forget that writing a book may take years – from the tiny spark of idea to pages and pages that will be hashed through and chopped over to drafts that will be expanded and then shrunk to a book on loose leaf paper, ready – maybe – to be bound.

Perhaps, we writers need the patience of gardens.  Perhaps, we need to grant ourselves the grace to know that growth and good words take time.

I know I do.

What makes you hurry as a writer?