Books, books…Books about prehistory, books about gardening, novels, books about writing, books of short shories, books about creativity, knitting books, books about running a business from home… Everywhere in my house there are books. Discovering a book about creativity and gardening – well, that seemed too good to be true, so when the chance to read and review one came my way, I had to jump at it. Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots through Gardening by Fran Sorin had me out in the garden relishing getting my hands dirty before I was halfway through.
[Yes, I was given a free Kindle copy to review. But I would have bought it anyway, and been very glad I did – in fact I may well buy a paper copy too, since there’s something satisfying about holding a physical book, plus I like the cover. And it’s easier to dip in and out of a paper book. But I digress. That’s a whole post in itself and I’ll save it for another day.]
In Digging Deep, Fran gently takes you by the hand and leads you through ‘7 stages of creative awakening’, showing beautifully how gardening can be a truly creative endeavour. There are plenty of practical tips too. But it’s not just for gardeners – I found that I was reading a lot of her words and applying them to writing, particularly when she talks about creativity (and gardening) as a journey that just keeps on evolving.
There’s something irresistible and infectious about her love of gardening and the creative process. I’ve always been a very practical gardener (I grow veg and fruit and don’t think too much about the overal aesthetic), but the book made me realise that it’s my garden, and I can make it beautiful to me. My favourite thing in my whole garden is a giant dahlia that I put in on a whim and which keeps getting bigger and more pink and exhuberant every year. Secretly, I wanted the whole garden to have that feeling – and now, thanks to this book, I’m realising that it’s up to me to make sure that it does!
I’ll leave you with the words I enjoyed most from the book: “You cannot simply tap into your creative nature once and then expect to be done with it. It’s a lifelong process – a continual commitment to being open to possibility, trusting your instincts, experimenting, taking risks, and revising.” That sounds to me like a great description of the process of developing as a writer, or growing a business, as well as being a gardener!
So, if you feel in need of a dose of creative inspiration – whether you’re a gardener or not – do take a look at Digging Deep. You too may find yourself itching to get back into your garden, or even back to your writing desk.