Day 154 – 2,024 Words/Day Process Log – Babying Seedlings

Seedlings are babied and protected. It’s because that’s the phase where they’re the most vulnerable. A few bites on a fully grown tomato plant isn’t that bad. The plant will be able to recover. Of course, when you see one problem it usually means that there’s another problem waiting in the wings, but one night of a ravenous caterpillar won’t leave you without a plant.

It will, however, destroy a seedling.

I’m thinking of this as I’m thinking about my work and about growing artists. I came up in the “be tough” philosophy and to “have a thick skin.” It’s one of the reasons it took me so long to send my work out.

My toughness is reserved for the business that pays me today and gives me health insurance. I didn’t have the margin to keep getting beat up on something that was not a sure bet. Now. I understand that every job entails risk. Just some are riskier than others.

Anyway, from a cost benefit analysis, writing fiction which the odds at that time were not in my favor and getting told verbal abuse was part of the gig? That nonsense didn’t make any kind of sense.

By the way, it still doesn’t make any kind of sense.

It’s not how artists are developed. It’s not how plants are developed. Seeds started indoors are given the correct temperature, they’re given enough light and the correct type of light.

Seedlings are so vulnerable they go through a hardening off process – each day, they’re introduced to “the real world” at steadily longer periods so that shock from being out of the pampered environment doesn’t kill them.

Once they’re mature, there are different dangers such as bunnies and birds trying to snack on the fruit I’ve cultivated. But in the beginning, the point is to grow the plant to maturity. And that requires patience and babying, not harshness.

Harsh with a seedling? Most of them won’t make it to maturity. Same with an artist. Same with a work.

Keep moving forward. Keep getting better.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you’ll probably like my weekly newsletter. You can sign up here:

About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
This entry was posted in 2,024 Words A Day, Blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *