“No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” Epictetus (1st century A.D., Philosopher
How true this is—and yet, how often we forget it. Like fruit on the vine, our writing must be planted, blossom, bear fruit, and then ripen.
Blossoming—this is the stage when our ideas begin to take shape. A project may start out as just the wisp of an idea, but as we give it time and energy, thoughts gather around it. They begin to add to our first glimmer, giving it weight and purpose. As we move forward, we find the momentum to keep going.
Bearing fruit—this is the stage when we begin to see that our idea has “legs”—that it could turn into something we’ll vale and want to share with readers. Here, we see the different directions we might take it, the different ways we might express it and give it life. This stage is exciting and energizing. Our idea is more than just a blossom—it’s bearing fruit and coming alive!
Ripening—this is the riskiest stage, the one where we can try to rush to the finish line and make mistakes. We can feel too tapped out to do the revisions that are required to polish our work. We can feel that time is marching on and we need to wrap up our work and get it out into the world. We can refuse to let it ripen and give it the time it needs to reach its full potential. This is the stage where we need patience and staying power.
Blossom, bear fruit, and ripen—three stages in nature that also reflect the stages we need to go through for our work to sing and dance. Let’s not rush, let’s ripen as we all write on!
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