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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Daffodil Princple- Nothing Else Matters

Have you ever heard of the Daffodil Principle? There's a cute story that goes with it, but the short version is a valley of 5000 daffodils planted one at a time, by one woman, over 35 years.

I love this concept.

Especially because we as writers tend to forget that this act of creating a fictional world, of editing, of proof-reading, is actually an art form. Art takes time. Yes, it's fun to take thirty days and rush through a first draft just to have the awful thing DONE.

But the rest can't, and shouldn't, be rushed.

I'm going to be out in the garden today. We cleared land in our 1/2 acre plot by hand. Now I'm going out, smoothing it by hand-picking out clumps of mud and grass roots. And I'm planting my garden one seed at a time.

In a few hours I'll be covered in red mud, sweaty, and quite happy that I've cleared and planted another three feet worth of ground.

It isn't fast going. It isn't easy work. And there's no immediate gratification. In fact, I'm rather a novice gardener when it comes to vegetables (herbs and flowers are different!) and I'll be quite happy when the seedlings sprout.

But, one seed at a time, one mud clod at a time, one inch at a time the garden gets planted and things grow.

Your book will be finished the same way. One word at a time.


P.S. Thanks to whoever shared the band on their blog earlier this week. I have a new favorite!


  1. Very true words :) Something I'll remember for a while.

  2. Thank you, Sweet. I needed to hear that tonight.

    Thank you.


  3. Good post, and something we need to hear from time to time. Urgency to get to "The End" can sometimes overwhelm us, to the point where our writing suffers. So thanks for reminding why we need to slow it down sometimes, take care of one thing at a time.

  4. I really like this. How pretty. Anything with flowers has my stamp of approval! You know I hate to rush, so this is perfect advice!

  5. Very nice. If only having patience was easier! :D I love the daffodil lady story!

  6. Just what I needed to hear today! :-)

  7. My family is TOTALLY into seed planting...we are dying to get out into the yard and we keep buying more and more seeds in anticipation...5000 flowers, no problem!

  8. Addition: I needed to hear this tonight. Lately, I'm writing less than 500 words a day (valid reasons). Little by little does the trick. Praying for a spurt of writing within the next week or so.

  9. Liana, wonderful post. I have loved the Daffodil Principle since I first heard it. I'm a plodder, and have to keep telling myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. :-)