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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2214572-The-Key-to-the-Garden
Rated: E · Assignment · Activity · #2214572
The key to an opportunity of a lifetime.
A. Down the Rabbit Hole

2. "Find the Key to the Garden" – create a blog entry (or static item) about an opportunity of a lifetime – a key to achieving something very important. Do not drop your gloves and fan! (<1000 words)

The Key to the Garden

I have found the key to the garden and its name is Writing.com. If I have a purpose on this earth it is to write and the garden is anything that induces me to sit down and write. Writing.com does not make me write but it is the key to a multiplicity of motivations that bring about the writing fit in me.

Most important of these spurs is readers. I can and have in the past recruited anyone capable of the task to read what is written but the payback on these is sporadic at best. Oh, they’ll ooh and aah but it’s a dubious reaction at best. Is it real or are they merely being polite? Do they understand or is everything zooming above their heads? Any motivation provided by lay readers has to be supplemented by numbers and there’s a limit to the number of friends with the stamina to read that can be acquired.

It may be that this need to be read is an aberration in me but I have to be honest and admit that, if the thing is not going to be read, there is little point in writing it. Surely that is why we hunger for publication, that suddenly our readership expands beyond our restricted horizons and success can give us that pat on the back that is our other desire. There have been periods in my life when I have not written and these are always the result of the lack of an audience.

The internet led me to discovery of a garden that served me for a while. Blogging provided me with an outlet that, over the course of several years, developed a following that supplied the need for readers. Some of these were writers and bloggers in their own right and, for the first time, I had feedback from people who knew what they were talking about. It was enormously refreshing after so long, but was not really leading anywhere. The need to migrate from one platform to another eventually broke down the relationship and I, exhausted by the demands of producing a daily post for the blog, took the opportunity for a long break to recover.

And then I found a key. It had been lying at hand for a long time, not hidden and quite visible for anyone with the sense to pick up Google and ask it the right question. There came a day when I missed the company of writers so badly that I did a search for “writer’s groups.”

Top of the list, thank the algorithm that placed it there, was Writing.com. I signed up, entered and, after a brief time of getting lost in the winding paths and hidden nooks of the garden, I shouldered my spade and got busy. Words poured out of me, the pent-up result of years of silence and frustration, and the portfolio soon bulged with items old and new.

The most wonderful thing is that most of the items were entirely new. My discovery of the contests led me into an orgy of writing to prompts and specifications. And the process resulted in my discovery of another key (we could call it the key to the greenhouse): I work much harder for others than I do for myself.

When it comes to being a boss, I am quite hopeless. Just discover an ache or a pain and I’ll give you the day off. Maintain that you’re empty of inspiration and I’ll suggest the couch in front of the television. And with myself, I’m just the same. I’m so understanding that I can get round me anytime.

No, what I need is someone to tell me what they want and to expect me to do it. That’s what I really need and WdC, in the form of the contests, gave me exactly that. In those greenhouses run by head gardeners with endless requests for one thing and another, I found my true heaven, a reason to write and write and never stop.

I rediscovered poetry under their direction. In my youth I had produced a fair bit of poetry, most of it rubbish though interspersed with the occasional gem, but that had died away in my early twenties. For nearly fifty years I wrote nothing that could be called a poem. Then I was tempted by a prompt or two and, reasonably surprised at the results, I tried a few more. Somewhere a switch was tripped and poetry began to motivate my typing finger (yes, I use only one finger). I will admit that there are even a few of my latest poems that I think are quite good. Heck, they win the occasional contest and not all the judges can be wrong, can they?

There is the expansion of my horizons to new and previously unconsidered genres as well that I ought to mention, but the heavies of the word limit approach and I must allow room for a pretty conclusion. Suffice to say that this garden continues to be my discovered treasure and I remain eternally grateful to the Story Master for creating it.

It seems strange to have found the opportunity of my lifetime at the age of seventy but hey, it’s better late than never. And a garden as good as this was worth waiting for.



Word Count: 941
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