Short and Sweet Advice for Writers: Write Like a Weed

weedsAhh, the humble weed. Scorned, belittled, hacked at, trod on, uprooted, and taken for granted, these tenacious flora still manage to proliferate. Undaunted by our judgment of their unworthiness, they flourish in every available crevice. They are not affected by our opinions.  They do not compare themselves to other plants; they just keep reaching up toward the sun and drilling down toward the water.

Far from being particular about soil conditions, weeds grow almost anywhere. There is nothing delicate about these flowers; they are more fierce than floral. Weeds are stamped on, sprayed with noxious chemicals, and pulled out of the ground, yet they persist. Determined hands scrape the dirt away, cruelly exposing their naked roots, but somehow they manage to survive.

Even when it looks as though the weed has succumbed, when no stem or leaf is left above ground as evidence of the weed’s existence, even then the weed lives. Deep under the ground it’s roots continue to thrive. They dig in and hold on, defiantly wrapping around tree roots and stone, refusing to admit defeat. It won’t be long before a new shoot emerges into the light.

Write like this: write like a weed. Do not care if others judge you. Do not let comparison distract you. Do not wait for the perfect conditions. Do not let any word or deed or inner fear keep you from continuing to do your work. Just dig in and write. Stay focused. Stay true. Do what  you were meant to do. Be what you were meant to be.

Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content marketer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian and aerial arts (not at the same time), and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Join me each Saturday for the Weekend Edition (a fun post and great community of commenters on the writing life, random musings, writing tips, and good reads), or introduce yourself on Facebooktwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

115 thoughts on “Short and Sweet Advice for Writers: Write Like a Weed

  1. And remember…a weed is only a weed in the eye of the beholder. One person’s weed is another’s beautiful or useful or medicinal plant. So when one publisher rejects your writing, try try again…someone will see it for the beautiful thing that it is.

  2. Thank you Jamie. That was encouraging. As far as perfect conditions, do they even exist? Mine are always changing and I can either adapt or give up. I go through various seasons, but I try not to give up. So in that sense, I guess I do write like a weed.

  3. I love this comparison, Jamie. Some weeds are actually quite beautiful and absolutely stronger than many blooms that are easily choked by the weeds.

  4. Pingback: Short and Sweet Advice for Writers: Write Like a Weed | Kim Deal

  5. I am so glad that I decided to follow this blog. Criticisms shouldn’t altogether be avoided but it also shouldn’t change who you are. Keep the core same and than have your own mantle, crust and atmosphere.

    • Ooh! Another interesting metaphor. Intriguing. Thanks for coming by – so glad you decided to follow! 🙂

  6. Love the text… love the comparison… Thank you, thank you… Beautiful

    Too many are trying continually to be a picky exotic flowers that needs so much care to even survive, that have a short life span and that fade and die at the first strong gale or change of weather… they can’t stand heavy rain, snow or drought… they never see fall, winter or spring… they need specific and strict condition to bloom… and people rarely have the chance to even admire them as their hide out is hard to reach, they often hide in the jungle and bloom only for few hours.

    I really love weeds in real life as they are also powerful medicine for humans and animals… they are strong healers.

    Thank you for this beautiful text

    • I love the dimensions you’ve added to the metaphor – weather, seasons, hiding places in the jungle. Lovely. I also love the truth that weeds are often powerful medicines. As I mentioned in another comment, they are a clear and powerful example of natural selection at work … and Mother Nature doesn’t choose carelessly. 😉

      Thanks very much for being here.

  7. BThere are very few people who really understand feelings and writing them in words is more difficult.I will follow your advice and you have framed the post quite well 🙂

  8. Interesting metaphor. Yeah, writing is never an easy thing to pick up, as I heard another metaphor in my youth, saying that literature equals sweating, or even blood consuming (ha, too much maybe), which implies how hard the task can be. Hope the spirit persists like weeds/wild flowers, not as gracious as roses or tulips, but nature allows, and they might be able to grow on another planet, like Mars, who knows? 🙂

    • Ahh – interesting idea about weeds being able to grow on other planets. Who knows? Excellent way to expand the idea.

    • And now I’m laughing picturing myself as a renegade weed – like the antithesis of the talking roses in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. 😉

      TKS for the giggle!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Patricia, and I totally agree that many blooming weeds are quite spectacular. I prefer a bouquet of hand-picked “weeds” over long-stemmed roses any day! 😉

  9. Great analogy! They are as humble as they are strong, which speaks to me because my writing is not fancy. I will aspire to be a dandelion – persistent and strong no matter what adversity comes my way.

    • I think it is a lovely aspiration to be a dandelion. After all, weed or not, dandelions grant wishes.
      Stay strong & happy writing!

  10. I also think that weeds have their own stubborn beauty. Also, they are only called weeds because the world esteems them so. An alien from another planet wouldn’t know them from roses.

    • It’s all in the eye of the beholder, right?
      I love the idea of “stubborn beauty.” There is an essay in there somewhere …
      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  11. Thank you for the gentle reminder. So often I try to craft my writing to a specific place when we all know the best writing is earthy and organic and sprouts naturally all by itself when we get out of the way.

    • Ooh! I love where you took the analogy … “earthy and organic” … “sprouts naturally.”
      And I think you’re on to something. Though I’m big on planning my writing, I definitely find that things flow more easily when I loosen the reins and let the words go a little wild. Like a garden that has burst out of the straight lines in which it was planted, the best writing knows how to push the boundaries and create its own environment.

      Thank you!

  12. Jamie
    Thank you. This was a great article. I can relate easily. I always held back. I never let anyone know I loved to write. I didn’t think anyone would be interested or care and I believed there would be a lot of criticism which, then, I was not strong enough to handle. Your post today will certainly help others who have these same kind of fears. I try to remember…What other say cannot hurt me but, I can grow as a person and a writer if I use their words wisely.
    Try to use the rocks thrown at you as stepping stones to your future…not as boulders to build a wall of refuge and retreat.

    • Hello, Sandy. Thanks so much for sharing a piece of your story. So many of us hide away our inner writer for far too long. I am glad you no longer feel the need to do that.

      Love the last line in your comment about turning thrown rocks into stepping stones – that’s lovely. I will remember that next time I’m feeling attacked.

      🙂 Thank you

    • You’re so welcome. Thanks for being here. Glad to know that you’re finding encouragement here … and glad you’ve been sticking around! 😉

      Happy writing!

  13. Pingback: Being Persistently Persistent Like a Weed | Aligning With Truth

  14. I like the weed. It battles on against the odds. Often beautiful; a wild spirit. Tenacious. Just gets on with it – no maintenance. I have been exploring the notion of nature uprising and taking over lately in my own writing, a concept I love, especially as autumn is in full swing. Really enjoyed reading this and the parallels you draw with human confidence and creativity.

    • I love what you’ve added here – “wild spirit,” “tenacious,” “just gets on with it.
      I also love the idea of nature “uprising.” We humans have an unwarranted amount of hubris when it comes to our perceptions of how important we are in the grand scheme of things. I’d love for you to share some links to your writing if you have them.

    • I will never tire of hearing that, Cat. So glad this struck a positive cord for you. Thanks for saying so!

  15. Pingback: Short and Sweet Advice for Writers: Write Like a Weed | izzieberry

    • I am so glad you found the post helpful. Sometimes it just takes a different perspective to bump us out of a rut. 😉

  16. That was inspiring. I recently decided to start writing and it has being difficult because I am my worse critic. I have a long way to go but someday I will be like the weed. Thank you.

    • No matter how far you have to go, you’ll always get there sooner if you start now. 😉
      Enjoy your journey!

  17. Very well written post. Isn’t it interesting to think back and wonder who decided which plant would be a weed, which a flower? Many weeds can be beautiful in their own right. I shall be back to see what other great visions you impart. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Karen. That is an interesting question. It’s odd that we don’t have more respect for the hardy “weeds” and refrain from giving them such a derogatory label.

      Glad you’ll be back. Maybe I’ll “see” you on Saturday for the weekend edition. 😉

    • That is so true. As the accompanying photo illustrates – weeds thrive in any tiny crack or niche. They are unstoppable! And when there is no crack or niche, weeds make one. 😉

      Happy writing!

  18. Pingback: Short and Sweet Advice for Writers: Write Like a Weed | unuttered sentiment

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  21. Pingback: Jamie’s Short and Sweet Advice for Writers: Write Like a Weed | lostprose

  22. Awesome post, and I’ll never look at weeds the same. I will continue to root these words to text, as strongly as weeds root themselves to the earth. Thanks for the encouragement.

  23. Pingback: Your Favorite 2015 “Weekend Edition” and “Short and Sweet” Writing Posts | Live to Write – Write to Live

    • I love hearing that you’re fired up. 🙂
      Go get ’em, Rowena!

      TKS for spending so much time here. Hope to “see” you around the blog in the future.

  24. Pingback: Nurturing Your Writing Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links June 26 | Live to Write – Write to Live

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