Gardening and self-doubt

I have a love-hate relationship with my garden.

Dead tomato.

No matter how many times I turn the earth and make the rows and pull the weeds and throw out the rocks and plant the seeds, I never feel confident about it. This year is no different.

So far, I’ve managed to kill every seedling I sprouted in my little peat pots a couple months ago and the three tomato plants I bought at the local nursery. The rest of the seeds are buried now, and I go outside every day to water the rows and hills and scan the soil for signs of life. 


Every day, I doubt myself. Did I plant the seeds too deep? Not deep enough? Have I drowned them? Will they ever sprout? Did something sneak up from below and eat them? Have birds flown in and devoured those little seeds without my knowledge?


It’s a lot like writing. The words, like seeds, have to be sown into the story in an orderly fashion (gardens are sometimes called “plots”). Then, day after day, those words in that plot are watered and weeded (rewrites and edits) until, hopefully, they produce something both nourishing and palatable.

I enjoy the processes in this writing-gardening life, but I hate the self-doubt that assails my mind between planting and producing! 

Where does self-doubt sneak in and torment you? What do you DO about it?

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