write • nourish • grow
Today the green was brilliant. Emerald moss and dusty sage lichen and tiny points of snowdrops peeping up in a stubble by the back door.
Today the blue was stunning. The sky clear and open and bright. The sun streaming down from that blue, making my coat seem almost superfluous.
Today the ground was yielding, muddy in places. Clear of snow and ready for life to spring up.
Today is March. And so is tomorrow.
Snow is in the forecast. Wet and heavy, falling fast. Or maybe there, but not here. It’s March, and it’s unpredictable.
Today we stand out too long talking in the sunshine. The kids throw off coats and race outside when we get home, playing until dark as if it were truly spring.
I fill up the wood box. Sigh about the potential for another snow day. Mentally revise my schedule for the next few days.
This is March. Spring one day, snow the next.
I scroll quickly by pictures from friends in North Carolina and California and Oregon of green grass and budding branches and flowers blooming. I think of the snow drops and crocus tips just poking up ready to be buried. I remember that I could see the lilac leaf buds swelling from the window this morning.
I remind myself:
It’ll melt fast.
Spring will come for real.
This is March.
Today for a few minutes in the sun, I soaked in March, mastered mindfulness and presence. And then I grumbled about coming snow. I dreamed ahead to the day I start digging in my garden.
Today was spring or close enough. Tomorrow may bring snow. This is March.
I didn’t write much this summer. I managed a couple of blog posts, a few pages in my journal. Not much else. I could blame it on time or my kids or wanting to take a break during the lazy days of summer. But really, I’d lost my why.
Do you know why you are writing?
It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve spent time on blog posts for clients, emails, sales pages—pieces that helped them achieve their why. And I love that work. I enjoy helping people, many of them moms like me with littles at home trying to be present and get things done, reach their audiences and their goals.
Still I want more. I want to write about the things that matter to me. I want to tell you about the best frosting in the world happening in my kitchen right now and about how neighborhood can be like family. I want to talk about freeze warnings and my debate on taking the sure thing of an early harvest or the gamble of leaving some to keep growing. I want to use my words for food and family, gardens and grief. That’s why I started write • nourish • grow.
Roughly two years ago, I was trying to figure out “What’s next?” I had been a freelance writer and editor for 14 years, but the market was changing. My life was changing.
I wanted to do something different, but didn’t know what. I ended up having a chat with Megan Flatt, a business coach for mom entrepreneurs, who told me, “You can’t think yourself to clarity. You need to act.” So I acted.
I jumped into this blog with ideas about running writing + cooking retreats and writing for food magazines. I gave myself space to grow. And for a year, I played with that idea. I wrote about my garden and food and parenting and writing. I ran online writing retreats and shared weekly writing prompts (I’m not done with these things yet). It was fun, but not the job I needed.
And in the midst of all that I wondered if I needed to start blogging about copywriting and editorial calendars and blogging. I felt ugh every time I thought about it. But I felt like I should. I mean, who was going to hire somebody writing about the changing seasons in nature and life and grief when they were looking to grow their business?
The people I most like to work with bring their heart to their business. They connect with potential customers and clients through story and real experience. That’s what I do. Sure, I’ll pay attention to key words and headlines, but I start with the audience and the why.
And while I am a copywriter and content manager, that’s not my why in this space. I’m not planning on writing about copywriting here.
I’m going to keep writing about love and loss and abundance and paying attention. I’m going to keep following the flow of seasons. I’m going to keep talking about creative writing as I make more space for creativity in my life. And I’m going to invite you along too, to act, not just think.
There are a lot of whys for writing. What are yours?
I’m on my porch, listening to the sound or rain filtering through leaves, hitting the already wet pavement directly, splattering in gathered puddles. Taps and trickles, plunks and plops.
A green haze is creeping across the crispy grass that looked like it might never recover. The plants in my garden and along the sidewalk stand a little taller. I draw myself up a bit too.
I went to bed to the sound of gentle rain last night and woke to the same this morning.
It’s been a dusty summer of hopeful promises. Dark clouds gather each afternoon. The wind turns the leaves up. We pull in laundry, hold off on pulling out the hose. A few scattered drops. Rainbows, but no rain.
Glance at my garden, peak into my pantry. It’s been a slow season in many ways. Flipping through photos from three years ago, I find a lush garden, shelves piled high with pickles and jams. It’s all going slower this year. Some seasons are like that.
Production is slow and things are passing quickly—raspberries are done, my cucumbers are wilting, greens bolted early. I’ve stopped asking things to slow down, and just moving at the speed of this summer.
Back in June, I rejoiced in the rain that encouraged my seedlings, and I dared hope that a recently published essay would end a writing drought. My writing, like my garden, has struggled with a dry spell this summer. I got rain, but not enough. But I keep watering. I weed and check in. My yield may be small this summer, but I haven’t given up. I may not produce much fruit or many flowers, but sink my roots deeper and know I will thrive again.
As I’ve been writing, the rain grew in intensity, crescendoing to a roar. A river runs down the hill and the little puddles by the roadside extend down the street. Tiny droplets evicted me from my seat to one even deeper on the porch. I keep myself dry, but I soak it in. I come back to the page to see if my writing can green up like the grass, perk up like the perennials that had wilted by the walkway.