Why Today’s Blog IS about Arugula

A few months ago I wrote a blog about arugula. Actually, it was NOT about arugula because it was the middle of winter. I had just bought a packet of arugula seeds, and then: more snow.

Well, good news. Today it is 54 degrees outside, the snow has been gone for about a month, and on the first of May we turned the soil and planted the arugula seeds. More importantly, now, today, there is arugula growing in the garden!

Ideas and arugula alike, things start small. The seedlings are tiny but growing steadily, and I know that in a very short time, maybe a few weeks, we’ll be having spicy, almost-bitter arugula with balsamic vinaigrette—one of our favorite early spring delicacies from the garden.

It’s just like my writing: day-after-day, what started as a tiny seed of an idea, eventually grows into a blog or a short story or maybe into a full-grown novel.

How does your garden of writing grow? How do you encourage your tiny seedling ideas?




  1. Tara says:

    I love this idea! It’s hard to remember sometimes that the little steps we take can add up to big changes.

    For my writing, I take a few minutes every morning before I get out of bed and write whatever comes to mind. Later in the day, I work on the blogathon.

  2. Oh, I love arugula! I wish I had a garden so I could plant arugula, and basil, and tomatoes.

    I’ve always loved the idea of ideas as seeds. It makes the creative process so much less intimidating. Especially now, since I’m in the beginning stages of a new book, and it’s overwhelming to face a blank page and think that I’ll need to write hundreds of them. But you’re right that they’ll grow steadily (as long as we keep watering them!) so we should just take it one day at a time.

  3. Tara, That’s a great idea to think about ideas for day before you get out of bed. And it’s funny you’d say that, because I often wake up these days with a blog in mind. (Not always my preferred first thought of the day, but it gets me going!)

    Natalia, I have to admit, I love having a garden (wish I could send arugula to you) — like you would, we’ll be planting basil and tomatoes very soon! I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going! As for the writing, the blank page/screen is daunting, and wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do was pour water on them? 🙂
    I agree…one day at a time!

  4. Leah says:

    I want to grow arugala! With my writing, sometimes an idea hits and I can write the entire concept out in one sitting. Other times, I have an idea, write that down, and come back to it later. Or I’ll write a few sentences and let it percelate in my mind. I usually come back to all my ideas in some way. They may or may not be ready to bloom at the time of conception (like arugala).

  5. Leah, The way you describe the different lengths of time it takes to develop an idea reminds me of the different germination time for seeds! It’s so interesting to me because larger seeds are planted deeper so they take a lot longer to sprout; smaller seeds planted closer to the surface so they germinate more quickly! p.s. Can you grow arugula where you are?

  6. Really love this analogy! It’s true on so many levels. Like Leah, I have both large and small ideas that “bloom” differently. I have my story scenes (in bullet-pointed summaries) written & numbered on a stack of index cards, and when I have an idea, I make a new index card or add a post-it note onto the back of an existing card if I know I’m going to go deeper into a scene. If it seems the idea will blossom into something substantial (i.e., a much longer scene), I write the details/ideas that come to me in a notebook (on a page coordinating with the scene number). Sometimes a lot of this ‘seed-planting’ takes place before I actually write out my story.

    And hey, of all the strangest coincidences…a friend of mine is staying with me this week and we went grocery shopping together yesterday, and she bought some arugula, insisting I have *got* to try it. How funny that you posted about this veggie I’d never heard of before and in two days’ time, I’ve heard of it twice. LOL

  7. Wow, you are super organized! Right now I think I am the exact opposite — all over the place trying to do too much! I need to weed my garden (literally and figuratively!), now THERE’s a blog 🙂 As for arugula, it is amazing and it tastes so very different fresh out of the garden, as do most veggies! That is pretty funny that you’ve heard about it twice in two days!

  8. Oh! I’m good at developing an idea that started as a seed. It’s getting it all down and sticking to it for 300 pages that’s a problem. 🙁

  9. Nancy Kelley says:

    “Never compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.”

    I read that somewhere this week, and even though I can’t remember which of the wise bloggers I follow shared it, it’s the most inspiring piece of advice I’ve seen in a long time. Any time you start something new, there’s the temptation to look at people who’ve been doing it for years and think, “Wow. I’m nothing compared to them–maybe I’m not supposed to do this after all.”

    The truth is, you’re just a seedling and they’ve been in this dirt for a while. Give yourself a few seasons, a little water, a little sunlight, and before you know it, someone will be saying that about you.