April 14, 2016
Parable of Two Gardeners by Ruth L. Snyder
Once upon a time there were two young gardeners. Each gardener received a plot of ground, seeds, essential tools, and a challenge to develop a thriving garden.
The first gardener spent hours planning her garden. She thought about which plants should be placed close to each other to make the best use of symbiosis. She marked dates on her calendar to remind her to accomplish each step of the project. She even researched the best dates for planting according to the cycles of the moon. Finally, the day for planting came. She prepared the soil, marked rows, and planted her seeds.
The second gardener researched the plants she would be growing, tested the soil, and spent time visiting greenhouses, talking with other gardeners. She found a group of gardeners who met monthly and joined them. Finally, she too prepared the soil, marked rows, and planted her seeds.
Gardener One smiled when she saw the first sprouts lifting their heads. She knew her garden would be beautiful and dreamed of the day when it would be featured in the top gardening magazines. At first she spent many hours in the garden every day, but after a while she grew weary of pulling weeds and watering the plants. Before she knew what had happened, the weeds were out of control. Going into her garden became a chore she avoided. She only tended the garden when she felt like it.
Gardener Two cheered when she saw the first sprouts. Every day she visited the garden and spent an hour or more doing something to make it better. She continued to attend the monthly gardener meetings. When pesky insects invaded her garden, she asked for advice from the more seasoned gardeners. On the days she didn't feel like gardening, she thought of all the people who would benefit from her garden and worked anyway.
At harvest time, Gardener One was only able to gather a handful of produce, hardly enough for a couple meals. She decided she wasn't cut out to be a gardener and gave all her gardening tools away. Gardener Two spent days harvesting all the produce. She even invited others to come gather from the bounty of her garden. Her heart filled with joy, and she looked forward to the next growing season.
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So what advice would I give to new writers? Make writing a daily habit and find a group of writers who will help, encourage, and cheer you on. Planning is great, but actually doing the writing is absolutely necessary. At times it will be easy to write. Other times writing will be the hardest work you've ever done. Do it anyway. When rejections come, cry if you need to, but learn from them. Figure out what you can do differently next time. Cultivate friendships with other writers. Share what you're learning. Ask questions. Celebrate. Use the abilities God has given you and give HIM the glory for each small success along the way.