Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Planting Peanuts

One day (I’m thinking almost a year ago), a person took upon himself the responsibility of growing a plant.  There happens to be some raw peanuts lying around, so he decides that he will plant them and speedily proceeds to the internet for some research on how he should go about this.

Some hours later, he gathers some courage and plops two peanuts into a pot.  From there, he waters the patch of ground for a week or two and finally his patience pays off.  A small green tuft of plant appeared.  In fact, two!

As they grow, he notices that one is stronger than the other, so he dismisses the weaker one (though it still gets water since it’s in the same pot).  Some weeks later, the stronger plant halts in its growth while the weaker one shoots past it.

The originally weaker plant makes one very long stem that eventually grows outside the pot and smears up against the window for more sunlight.

After a while, he decides that the plants aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, so he takes them out and plants a new peanut.  He reads somewhere that the peanut should not get water for the first few days (to make it hardier), so he leaves it.  After a while, he starts giving it water, but even after two weeks, nothing comes out, so he goes back to the growing board.

Finally, the person plants another peanut.  This one he makes sure does not dry out too much and does not get too much water.  In fact, he thinks he does everything correctly.  A plant sprouts and it grows in multiple shoots.  The person is happy with the result and lets it grow for a month or two.  The plant splays out over the pot and a part of the window sill, nothing like the pictures on the internet, but he braves on, hoping it will eventually right itself.

This is a peanut plant. (Source)

This is my (if you haven’t guessed, I am the unnamed person in the above story) peanut plant.

It doesn’t seem to be even the same species.  In fact, my guess is that it’s a weed of some kind.  Regardless, it is green and it owes its life to me.

This above scenario is often true of my writing as well as my gardening.  I start off with enthusiasm and plant my story.  As it grows, certain parts of the plot seem like they’re important, but then somewhere along the line another part takes the spotlight.  And then, even if it grows, it seems empty, so I start it over.  This one doesn’t even get past the planning phase.

Finally, I begin the story again.  It begins great with complexity and a lot of good things, but by the time I get to the end, it isn’t anything like I envisioned it to be.

A lot of times (in fact, most of the time) people who create can’t replicate the things in their head accurately in reality.  It is always better in the envisioning phase.

But even so, you have a story and it works.  It flows and you’re happy with it, even though it’s not exactly what you wanted.  Maybe you can fix it with some heavy editing, or maybe not.  Regardless, you’re proud, because you made it, and it grows.

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