Inspiration, Writing

Write Like a CROCUS!


All summer, while grass grows and clover overtakes the yard, our crocus bulbs, with wilted, yellow leaves still exposed, quietly gather sunshine and build a food supply for next spring.  By autumn, they enter a dormant phase which continues through winter. It snows and rains and sleets.  Still, the crocuses rest, waiting for the perfect moment to bloom. And when that springy moment arrives, they burst forth with tiny purple blossoms that take my breath away. Sometimes, I impatiently wish I could hurry them (and spring) along. But try as I might, I can’t force them to bloom. They bloom when they are ready.

As a writer, too, I sometimes impatiently hurry a story or poem along, thinking that if I try hard enough, I can force that story to bloom, even if it’s not yet ready. If I’m honest with myself, though, I realize that my best stories and poems are the ones I let quietly gather sunshine, while I, often subconsciously, work out details, grow the plot, develop the imagery, the meter, the rhyme, until, at last, like crocuses bursting forth, the story or poem practically writes itself.

My goal this week, as I survey my garden of stories and poems in progress, is to be crocus-like and let those pieces that still need to develop beneath the surface do just that.  With spring-like fervor, I’ll find the one that’s ready to burst forth. That’s the one I will write this week.

16 thoughts on “Write Like a CROCUS!”

  1. I love this. Too often I fall into the trap of thinking good writers can crank out perfection on a whim. Then when I struggle to do that, I assume I’m falling short. But I, too, am a crocus-type writer. Ideas come at all times and from all angles, so I make note of them and consider them while folding laundry or watching the kids play outside. They form beneath the surface. Then I put the words to paper when the time is right. Sometimes inspiration does come fast and furious, but those moments are rare. More often, I’m watering the seeds until a flower blooms. Great analogy, Laura!

  2. Ah, you are a better gardener than I am, Laura. I often do the butt-in-chair thing even as the flowers are not ready. The results are less luminous than I’d like, but this is how I have come by my work discipline.

  3. You’re so right: nobody can hurry a flower to bloom. Our stories are that way, though we can’t just sit and wait, we could sit and observe and take notes for when the time they bloom.

  4. So true, Laura. Great analogy!

    I’m a little worried for my actual crocuses, though. They’re still not up! I’m worried that I planted them too deep.

  5. I wish my stories felt like a gentle bloom…usually it seems more akin to some sort of bioengineering project where I’m splicing and applying ointment and wrapping and trimming and singing for the little buds to appear!

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