Like many writers, I battle constantly with crippling self-doubt and often wonder whether I should give up this writing lark and save myself the angst of worrying if I’ll ever be good enough to produce anything worthy of publication. This week, the universe gave me a sign that perseverance does pay off.
About four years ago, I planted the first of several peonies in our garden. There was a shoot but not much more, in that first year. The second produced a whole host of leaves but no flowers. When buds appeared the following year, I thought I’d cracked it, but the hint of pink hiding beneath the tightly-bound damson outer leaves was just teasing me, and they failed to flourish.
I was beginning to think my wish of cultivating a peony from the tuber was nothing more than a pipe dream; a little like my writing experience to date. Perhaps, I should abandon it, dig up the roots and replace it with something more substantial and hardy. But, nagging away inside me was the urge to carry on because persistence would eventually bring a reward.
In the spring, I once again watched the plant develop with interest. The shoots came, followed by the leaves — more abundantly, this time — and, as before, two buds appeared slowly increasing in size until finally, a few days ago, they opened to reveal the most glorious blooms.
It has filled me with renewed hope that — as with the peony —for my writing to succeed it has to be infused with a belief that continued commitment will pay off — I just have to stop overthinking it, cease procrastinating and bloody well get on with it!
Almost as if to reinforce this assertion, I have had another letter published in the TV Times, so happy days. It’s working already!
As it’s Father’s Day today, may I take this opportunity to wish all those dads out there — as well as taking a moment to remember those no longer with us — an enjoyable and stress-free day.