Monday, July 20, 2009

Nurture Your Gift

During our courtship, my husband bought me a delicate miniature rose plant. Unoriginal as it may be, I named her, "Rosie." The pink blossoms measured no more than an inch across.

Eventually, the blooms faded and died. Without their bright presence to jog my memory, I forgot to water Rosie. One day, I noticed the plant was hanging onto life by a thread. After my beloved presented me with such a lovely gift, I'd neglected her.

Only intensive care saved Rosie's life. After a few months, a tiny bud appeared, and disaster was averted. She lived a long life for a miniature rose plant. With TLC, she gave me many flowers and happy memories.

During a gray season, my writing withered and almost died. My husband's illness took every ounce of our energy as we fought the onslaught of cancer. When conference time came around, I decided not to attend. Beloved insisted that I go to nourish my writing dream.

That year, I attended a workshop where I learned how to take my writing to the next level. The resulting re-write brought my book up to the required 80,000-100,000 words. My characters and setting came alive.

Before he died, my DH made me promise to complete my book and seek publication. His encouragement watered my "writing plant" and caused it to bloom.

Are you watering your "writing plant?" How are you keeping the dream alive?

20 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

How awesome that your husband encouraged your writing and believed in you! What a wonderful gift that he gave to you! And so true, if we don't nurture our writing, it will wither and fade!

Jessica said...

Wonderful analogy! How sweet of your hubby to get you that. I don't know how I'm keeping it alive. Hmmmm... Maybe thinking about it alot?
LOL

I'm glad you're keeping yours going. Let us know if anything exciting happens. :-)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

First of all, I love roses and your picture is gorgeous!

And I love your post. What memories it brought back to me in a similar situation.

After a long break from writing and dealing with chronic illness, I feel like I'm out of the intensive care unit and in rehab. Every day I begin the slow, maybe unsteady walk back to writing. And it feels so good!

Terri Tiffany said...

I see even more now why you loved your husband so much!
My own husband was the catalyst for making me finally get my writing out there to follow my dream. He told me to quit the job I had and just do it.

Kathryn Lang said...

Following a dream, a passion or a purpose is often like being in white water on a raft. It takes the right guide to get through it or you may end up wedge on a rock or the shore instead of moving easily with the water. I'm glad that you are continuing to pursue your dream!

Stina Rose said...

What a wonderful post! I don't know if I have a writing "plant" yet...I'm still in the "seed" stage, I think! I am working on watering it though. I really want it to grow.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Yes, he was a wonderful man.

You're also blessed to have a husband, who supports your writing career. May you find much success.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathryn -

You brought out a very good point. This writing journey involves many people. I'm grateful for my family, blogging friends, and the many teachers at conferences, who help me navigate the publication waters.

Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Stina Rose -

Thanks for the compliment.

Everyone starts at that seed stage. Give your writing seed the proper care and feeding, and it will grow.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Donna -

Thank you. I couldn't find a picture of a miniature rose plant, so I used regular roses -- the prettiest I could find. :)

I'm glad you're feeling better and once again moving forward. Many of us have setbacks along the way, but that vision helps us recover.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

He knew I loved plants and flowers, so he was always on the lookout for something special.

Oh, you're doing a whole lot more than thinking, Jess. You're writing, going to conferences, blogging, and reading craft books. :)

I'll keep everyone posted. Please keep me in your prayers as I attend the Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference in August.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

All the special day-to-day blessings we give each other in marriage add up to a lifetime of joy. Beloved took the scripture about loving your wife as Christ loved the church seriously and put it into practice.

You're a wonderful example to all of us. We appreciate your diligence and commitment.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Susan: I love this analogy! And your DH's heart, that he was caring for you clear to the end.

Funny, I call plants "he."

I am nurturing my writing plants. Sometimes I become frustrated when the weeds of distraction and care threaten to choke the life out of them, though. All my blog buddies have helped me stay in the garden and not give up.

Blessings, Jen, Audience of ONE

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

LOL! I always think of flowers as girls. Perhaps the sturdier foliage plants might seem more like a "he" to my mind.

Ah yes, weeds. Every garden has them. I'm also grateful for the bloggers, who cheer me on every day.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Krista Phillips said...

How sweet! My husband has been so kind in the process, and so very very patient. Finding the time/funds/energy to write is almost impossible sometimes,but he is my biggest cheerleader.

You are so right, our writing DOES need nurturing. I'm also realizing that sometimes we can OVER water our plants too and drown them. SOmetimes I'm an over acheiver and need to learn to back off and let things happen naturally too.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Krista -

LOL! I'm not a Type A personality, so I didn't even think about over-doing it. For those who are, too much of a good thing can also kill your writing plant.

It takes the right mix of doing our part and trusting the Lord with the results.

Thanks for pointing out the other side of the equation. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Sharon Ball said...

Like you, Susan, I'm blessed with the love of a man who supports my writing dream. It was actually my husband who pushed me to have my entire manuscript professionally critiqued. Of all the steps I've taken to learn the craft of writing, having my manuscript critiqued was by far the most eye-opening.

I've committed to writing everyday and so far I've kept the commitment. I'll keep on working until the Lord tells me to stop.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sharon -

It's wonderful to have support from your mate. I miss David's wise counsel, but I'm grateful for the friends and family, who have stepped into that void.

I enjoy your blog. If Word Press had a follower widget, I'd join. :)
Are you coming to Philly this year?

Blessings,
Susan

Sharon Ball said...

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the Philly conference this year. I had to save my money for the ACFW conference in Denver (September 17th). Donald Maass is teaching an early bird session that I just couldn't pass up. Have fun at the Philly conference and know that I'll be praying for you.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sharon -

I'll miss seeing you, but what a great opportunity! I'm hoping ACFW will come to the East Coast one year. I'd love to attend.

Blessings,
Susan :)