Off hand, it might be hard to imagine what roses and writing have in common. If you have a rose garden you personally tend to, however, I suspect you know exactly what I mean. It’s a love – hate relationship. As a longtime gardener, I’ve grown hundreds of different flowers over my lifetime, but none more gorgeous than these thorny creatures. And make no mistake, they ARE thorny. Last year I cut open my lip while trying to snap off an inner branch at exactly the right spot. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they make a conscious effort to hurt me. And to thwart my loving efforts. I spray to prevent insect infestation and black spot takes over. I prune away bad growth and white flies attack. I could go on and on (but fortunately for you, I won’t). The point is, no matter how many hours I spend slaving away in the hot sun to care for my persnickety roses, I still feel it’s worth it in the end.
And I feel that way about my writing, too. Every writer I know spends countless hours revising, pulling out his or her hair, and revising some more. Sometimes we can spend half a day reworking one sentence—a sentence we might end up cutting completely when all is said and done. But when we get that sentence right and we know it, a feeling of euphoria spreads through us. We no longer care that we spent half a day getting to that point because its beauty is overwhelming.
Similarly, we may spend years writing a book that will never be enjoyed by its intended audience because agents or editors don’t find its first three sentences breathless enough for them to spend another five reading the entire page. Fair enough. It’s a business, and every writer who has survived their first rejection letter understands this. The point is to keep slaving away at the keyboard. Keep the ideas flowing. Write, write, and write some more. Eventually, be it by traditional or self-marketing methods, you will connect with readers who enjoy your work. It’s at that point you’ll realize all the hard work you’ve put in to make those roses bloom was more than worth the effort.