One of my favorite metaphors for both parenting and writing is gardening and I bumped into another one this week: the rule of thumb for perennial plants, “Sleep, Leap, Creep.”
In the first year, a perennial will focus on its foundation, anchoring its roots. The next year, the plant comes out of a dormant winter and starts to grow. Then in the third year, it takes off and comes into its full form.
That might be the best (generous) description of both a teenager and trying to do creative work that I’ve seen. That or Patchett’s I am a compost heap. Or Eno’s beautiful things grow out of sh*t. Good reminders that any of it takes time and it is always messy.