Adapting, or letting our writing dreams die

I’ve always called it ‘heather’ but apparently the sixty-or-so kinds of Ericacece grown here in BC aren’t true heathers or heath at all. I think this one is ‘Erica’, since it blooms in spring, unlike the closely related genus ‘Calluna’ which blooms in summer or fall. Around here, because it resembles heath, it’s called ‘native heather’, and it does well as long as we provide the ideal conditions.

Don’t we all? I mean, don’t we tend to flourish when everything in our lives is the way we like it? It’s easier to smile when children behave, there are no unpleasant interruptions in our schedules, the mail brings a royalty cheque instead of another rejection, and somebody remembered to take out the garbage Tuesday morning before the truck rumbled past the house.

Unfortunately, as my heather shrubs have discovered, life doesn’t always give us what we’d prefer. In their present location, while the soil is suitably acidic, these plants aren’t getting enough sunlight, and there’s way too much moisture. After struggling for the past decade in this location they’re getting leggy, and have only a few blossoms. I’d relocate them, but there isn’t a better spot anywhere else on the property.

The alternative is to amend the soil so it will drain faster, and hope they eventually adapt to the inadequate light. It’s that, or let them die and replace them with something more suited to the conditions.

What does that suggest for us when we’re struggling to cope with our perhaps less-than-desirable situations? As writers, if we aren’t content with the status quo, I suspect we either need to move in a different direction to achieve the desired goal, or change our expectations. In other words, adapt. Or we can give up altogether and look elsewhere for fulfillment.

I can procrastinate when it comes to the future of my heather plants, but I love my writing too much to jeopardize my publication dreams. However, I just might have to approach them with a different attitude. If they are to survive, they’re going to require more TLC than I’ve provided so far!

Has your writing journey progressed as you expected? What might you have to do (or what did you do) differently to reach your goals?

~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

9 thoughts on “Adapting, or letting our writing dreams die

  1. I have been very pleased that I adapted and had my first book e-published 3 years ago. Since making that decision, things have gone much better for my writing career. Yes, we have to adapt with the times in order to survive.

  2. So true, we all do well if provided the right conditions. Your post is beautifully written and expressed. I’m making the e-pub adjustment and taking to social media a little more to build readership.

  3. Carol, for me the most important change was learning patience. I never had enough of it, and now I am faced each step of the way in my writing process with another lesson in “waiting.” Actually, it’s been much healthier for me 🙂

  4. What a great analogy! And gorgeous photos. You have a tremendous eye.
    I said “no” to publishing a book, then changed my mind, then Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top was born two weeks ago. So, I have to say that my path now is different than I’d expected. But better!

  5. Turns out, there have been a lot more twists and turns along this road than I’d expected. To reach my goals, I’ve had to adapt, and will have to continue to adapt. That, and NEVER GIVE UP. 😉

  6. A very applicable post – I think of seasons: a time to bloom, a time to develop roots and leaves, a time to be pruned, a time to withdraw and be quiet, a season to grow and develop new branches. All are productive, valid parts of life (and writing). Good lessons, good illustrations. I hope your ‘Erica’ gives you many more beautiful years.

  7. I’m not altogether sure what my goals were, Carol or if I had them clearly defined. They seem to keep changing. Some I’ve met and others I’m still working at. What I do know is that I haven’t been devoting as much time to writing as I should be. This I would like to change. I think it’s important for us to reassess our situation from time to time, see where we are and if we still want to go in the same direction or somewhere entirely new. I feel I’m not nearly as assertive as I should be. I’m willing to work on that. 🙂

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