March IWSG: A Plant out of Place

If you know me at all, you might remember comments about my struggles with nature during the growing season, at my pad. My favorite ‘me’ quote is “Nature versus Teresa and nature always wins”. So I couldn’t believe my recent moments of empathy—for weeds. How does my empathy for a weed relate to writing? Read on. 

This post was written for The Insecure Writer's Support Group and brought to you by founder Alex J Cavanaugh. This month Alex has the help of these co-hostsFundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard! Please go visit them. I am not using the optional question for the IWSG, but here it is: Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?
My empathy for a weed was short lived but occurred while reading about growing blueberries in Missouri. Growing blueberries (or anything pretty or edible) in MO means you must be on guard 24/7 against the forces of nature, forces that will kill and destroy a plant and its fruit. The forces might include tricky soil and drainage, fungi, (plentiful) insects, deer, voles and birds. Here is the impact sentence written under Weed Control that nearly played with my emotions. It read, “A weed is defined as a plant out of place.”
Here's my moment of empathy. “Aww! Weeds are just doing their thing. Who are they to say they are out of place when all they are doing is trying to survive?"  Um, "they" are the experts. Being a person who has always marched to the beat of her own drummer, I sort of identified with the  plant out of place. My entire life I’ve apologized for being me! 
Most of the time, my writing feels like something out of place. 
With my writing, I do show up like a weed, and give it my best effort. The weed does not surrender easily. I like to think I don't either. These plants out of place do not say, "Oh it's too hot or cold." OR "This is hard work. I think I will stop now and surf the internet or check my email." Nope, weeds forge ahead. We should not give up either. Write what you love and in your own voice. If you feel discouraged, keep writing. No one can write your poetry, your songs, your stories or even paint your canvases with your style. Show your heart and voice by doing you. You are your own drummer and must march to your own beat. Be a weed, man! 
A really great thing about participating in the IWSG blogging event each month is that we can read about the struggles of other writers and find that we are not alone in our insecure feelings. 
What about the blueberries? I might give it a try. Then after fighting nature a.k.a. Japanese Beetles, wormy things, fungi, deer and voles, soil ph., temperature and rainfall fluctuations for 60-80 days, I could harvest a berry or two. Remember that whether you are writing or growing blueberries, the journey is just as important as the fruit--unless you're really hungry or can't pay your bills. There is that.


 Do you ever feel like plant out of place in your writing or craft?


  1. Weeds never give up! Shame those blueberry bushes aren't as hardy.

  2. Good luck with future planting.


  3. A plant is a weed only depending which dictionary you use, right? :-) We are weeds in the eyes of readers until we flower in a way that pleases them. I think the best route is to please ourselves and just write.

  4. Aw. Now you have me being more sympathetic toward weeds, and I just pulled a lot last week. lol I have been feeling out of place as a writer for a while.

  5. Hi,
    Write what you love and in your own voice. Excellent advice because then you're writing from the heart and people listen.
    Have a great month of March.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  6. I love it! A weed is a Plant out of Place! I get that and love it. Thanks for sharing that thought. It is now a weed in my head.

  7. There are some very pretty weeds. Thank you for an encouraging post.
    We've grown blueberries for the past few years but each year the birds have beaten us to them.

  8. We tried growing blueberries once, but the birds got to them before us! I love the analogy though here, we all have to sow are own path that may not always be in line with others expectations, sort of like a weed I guess!

  9. Weeds are just unwanted plants, or so I thought. Thanks for the new perspective. I'll never look at one the same way. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  10. When it comes to weeds, I am pretty heartless. Dandelions were brought to America by immigrants from Europe, as food source. They are still edible if they are away from cars and pesticides. But I'd still take them out.

  11. Beautifully put! We should all try to be more like those hardy weeds! We've had some really beautiful weeds in our yard before, and some volunteer plants (not sure the difference between weeds and volunteers). I'm still kicking myself for pulling up a volunteer beauty berry bush.

  12. LOL, Teresa! Thanks to you, I'm digging my roots in deep. I won't go easily!

  13. The journey is important indeed and those weeds sure never give up.

  14. Aww, those poor, tough, independent-thinking weeds! I mean, they'll still have to go come late spring, but I'll probably feel a little guilty yanking them.

    Great analogy - yes, I often feel like a misplaced plant.

  15. Loved this post, Teresa! I decided a long time ago that I would just learn to love weeds. I loved dandelions so much when I was little that I wanted to carry them in my wedding bouquet. (I didn't ~ LOL!). And I identify with a burdock because I am loyal. I absolutely agree that we should write what we love and in our own voices. If I can't do that, then I don't want to write! Wishing you success as you write, and blueberries if you give them a go.

  16. Well you might like to settle for blackberries. A ‘weed’ that gives its own fruit ! Indestructible and delicious ! I wrote a poem on blackberries, the picking and the pie-making, I’ll share it sometime. For the moment it is out there trying to get published ! How far can a weed grow...I mean go !
    Thank you for this wise, truthful post. You made me feel ‘shouldered’, I’ve just invented that, I am translating from ‘√©paule’ from French but do not have a dictionary at hand. I am sure you get my drift.
    You are not alone. We’ll have to get together and have a Weed Party and eat boiled blueberries ! ! !

  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your encouragement is meaningful. I know, I need to write my own story with the tools I've been given, through my own experiences and perspective. Go. Create. Inspire! And, enjoy those blueberries.

  18. Where I come from, "weed" is slang for a weak person, and I've just realised that doesn't make any sense. We could all take a lesson from them!


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment.

Popular Posts