But First, Eat Your Peas

There is certainly no shortage of analogies on writing. Ranging from the technical and tangible, to the idealistic and ethereal, it’s one of those things that you can draw a lot of parallels to. But have you ever stopped to think about how much writing is like peas?

When I have lots of other things on my plate, writing seems to get rolled around and ignored like a serving of peas. But I like peas! I need to eat my peas more often – I know that they’re good for me, and I always enjoy them. The same goes for writing.

If I always save my peas for last (which is usually the case), I’ll always be full by the time I get to them. Either I’ll skip the peas completely, or I’ll eat them out of obligation… but I won’t enjoy them, and I may even feel a little sick afterward. Sometimes forced writing makes me feel like that, too.

While there may be a lot on my plate, perhaps I could consider adjusting my priorities. As long as I am still getting the essential nourishment that I need, what’s to say I couldn’t eat my peas sooner… or even substitute something else for a second serving of peas, when I’m in the mood? I do like peas, after all. As long as my responsibilities come first, there’s no harm in indulging a bit.

Some may argue that peas aren’t actually all that good for you. I’ve heard them described as starchy, empty calories. Some people don’t like them because they’re green, and green foods just aren’t their thing. But I’ve always had a soft spot for peas. It doesn’t matter if people tell you that peas (or writing) are a waste of time, or that they’re really not into the whole green veggies (creatively-minded) way of thinking. It’s your plate, and they’re your peas. You should enjoy them.

Sometimes, though, it’s not that simple. You want to eat your peas, but there’s never enough time to finish the important things on your plate as it is. That’s when it’s time to get really creative about incorporating peas into your life. You can add them to your entree (think chicken pot pie, Japanese curry, or even atop your salad), or maybe turn them into a beautiful puree! Sometimes, as writers, we have to multi-task when it comes to writing. We may not have time to sit down and enjoy our peas, but we can find spare moments to brainstorm or jot down ideas, if we’re prepared.

No one said it would be easy-peasy, but if you set your mind to it, I’m sure that you can think of plenty of ways to make writing a part of your life. But first, eat your peas.

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