Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Allegory of the Acorn


Not everyone who visits this blog is a writer, I know that, but I’m pretty sure everyone that comes here creates something. They love to take some thing and shape it into a new thing. We engineer it. We mold it. We write it. We arrange it. We preserve it. We paint it. Something in our makeup craves creativity.

But to create something takes time. It takes effort. And that can get discouraging.

I know at least for me it’s been discouraging. Books in my head are nearly planned out, but still I must build them sentence by sentence on paper. And then once I’ve done that, I have to virtually rewrite it so that it sounds good and reads well. It becomes more complicated than that, but the point is that it’s discouraging when you want the darn thing written yesterday not several months or years from now.

Today I decided to celebrate my growth instead of how far I still need to go. (Yeah, I know, I’ve been in a celebratory mood lately.)


Here’s an inspiring thought:

Consider an acorn. It’s a small seed that gradually grows into a large and mighty tree. Its branches reach skyward, braving the heights other plants dare not go. Its roots dig deep and spread wide to support the massive trunk. It takes centuries for the tree to grow into its full expanse, but that doesn’t stop it from working at it each day. Each stage the oak tree is only as small as it ever will be. As a seed, as sprout, as a sapling, it’s constantly growing.

Now consider a sunflower. Sunflowers grow in disturbed areas, a primary succession plant that spreads rapidly with a shallow root system. The weed topples under any kind of duress and in a season or two it is replaced by longer-lived or more complex plants. A sunflower cannot aspire to be a tree; a sunflower cannot aspire to outlive its season. It can only shine in the short time it’s given.

My message: cultivate your craft. One day at a time. Whatever your endeavor, whether it’s writing or not, start as an acorn and take comfort in the fact that in this very moment, you are only as small as you’ll ever be. Your talent can only grow from here. And just like an oak tree, you’ll build the roots and the height to outlast the sunflowers that come and go.

23 comments:

  1. Those are some awesome thoughts for me today. Thank you!

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  2. Wonderful thoughts. Thanks for inspiring me today.

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  3. This is your best post yet - I love it!! What a beautiful message. :-)

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  4. I love that Jackee! Especially since creativity can be a slow process. But you are right, it needs to be cultivated. =)

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  5. Beautiful analogy. And just take a look at any majestic oak tree and you'll rest assured, all those efforts are so worth it.

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  6. Oooh, I love "cultivate your craft." That's the best message of the day for me. I'm like you. I just want the first draft to be done so I can perfect it. I want to "hurry up and write" and I have to remind myself to slow down.

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  7. "you are only as small as you’ll ever be"

    Thank you.

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  8. You always have such inspiring messages. It amazes me at all the different crafts that you cultivate (not just writing). Someday, you also need to publish these posts from your blog... A "Chicken Soup" for the Creative Soul.

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  9. A very timely message for me. "Your talent can only grow from here." Words I needed to hear. Thank you

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  10. Awesome, awesome post! I only go one step at a time myself - too hard and frustrating to look farther ahead than that! :)

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  11. Thank you for those words of encouragement! I desperately need them today. Beautifully written.

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  12. Very inspiring - thanks for the encouragement. Somedays it definitely seems like the wip will never be done, but I know it eventually will if I keep at it, one day at a time.

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  13. Beautiful analogy and something I need to remind myself of.

    I have an award for you at my blog!! :)

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  14. I like sunflowers, but in the context you've presented it would be better to be on "oak tree" author. One might suddenly arrive on the scene as a flash in the pan and then fad into the "where are they now" file, but I'd rather be a sound institution that continually turns our quality work.
    Lee

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  15. There's a lot of inspiration coming out of this blog these days! Careful or you'll replace my cat the my new muse.

    I'm glad you're in a good place. Focus on the positive but use the negative to drive the angst in your protagonist.

    I have such an exciting project I'm ready to begin. Big picture (oak tree) - awesome. But it's just an acorn because I keep getting called to sub!

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  16. I love this post Jackee, of course it made me cry... everything is making me cry today! Thank you for your amazing perspective and for sharing the beauty you find all around you!!!

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  17. Thanks so much for the reminder. What a great thought to carry with me today!

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  18. Thank you for this. I get so impatient with how long it takes me to get anything done.

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  19. I really like the way you compare those things to creations. The analogies are perfect. Good way to tie in the non writers to those who do write. Very thoughtful!

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  20. Lovely. And pretty amazing. I love your celebratory perspective!!

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