I’ve been a busy Poppy over the past week. It’s gardening season and the first batch of crops is in. I’ve been shucking corn, snapping green beans, and prepping tomatoes. We can all of it, and it’s been a bountiful season so far! Yesterday’s yield included 19 quarts of tomatoes. We’re going to make salsa and marinara sauce with the next batch!
|Tomatoes on the vine from Wiki|
As these things do, the time away let me spend some time pondering my writing. I’m sure there are a million analogies that compare gardening and writing (planting a seed, watching it grow, harvesting…perhaps?) but for me, this week’s epiphany came from what to do with all those darn tomatoes.
If you’ve never preserved fresh tomatoes, there’s a whole process involved. First, you wash them then you put the tomatoes in boiling water for a bit. When they’re nice and hot, you scoop them out and dunk them in an ice water bath.
And that’s when the fun begins. The hot/cold water combination softens the skin and makes them easy to peel. Once they’re cool, you cut out the core and peel the skin off. Chop them to whatever size you require and voila! Tomatoes ready for preserving.
It got me thinking though. If writing is my harvest, I suppose the first draft is my crop. But that’s only the beginning. I still have to do the preserving, or the editing.
I’ve learned something valuable as I’ve been editing my first novel: Editing is not fun. Neither is prepping tomatoes, in case you’re wondering. But when the words are all cleaned up, dunked in proverbial hot water and all the crud stripped away, what you’re left with is something usable that will last for years to come.
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a tomato off the vine and slicing it up for a sandwich, but I’d like to think all the hard work I’ve put into my writing is going to be around for years. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
It remains to be seen if all that hard work will pay off. I can tell you that all 19 quarts of tomatoes kept their seal for 24 hours so they’ll be going into the pantry for us to whip out next time we want a big pot of tomatoy goodness.
As I get my novel ready for submission to a publisher, I think I’ll keep the tomato analogy in mind. It takes a lot of work, but man, the results sure are worth it!