Sleep, Creep, Leap

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

One of my favorite writing craft books is Writing with Quiet Hands by Paula Munier. Here is one of my favorite passages:

There’s an old adage in gardening: Sleep, creep. leap. This typically refers to the growth pattern of newly planted perennials, provided they are nourished with sun and water and nutrients: The first year the plant will “sleep,” the second year the plant will “creep,” and the third year the plant will “leap.”

As your writing practice deepens over time, you will grow as a writer–in much the same way as a well-nourished perennial. You’ll take your seat, and you’ll write. You may think you are getting nowhere, but as you keep at it, and your pages pile up, you are literally growing yourself as a writer.

At first, this development may be unnoticeable–that’s the sleep part. But before you know it, you’ll find your prose creeping along toward good and then leaping right into great. Growth rates vary for writers just as they vary for plants, but whether your “sleep, creep, leap” development takes three months, three years, or three decades will depend on what you learn as you explore the many places your practice may take you and how quickly you apply that knowledge to your work in progress.

2 responses to “Sleep, Creep, Leap

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