Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing


The rules are simple. Six paragraphs and six paragraphs only; of any published work or WIP. No more. No less.

Planting Carrots: A Writers Garden is a WIP. In accordance with Sneak Peek Sunday’s rules, here are six paragraphs of the chapter entitled “Does Size Matter?’

Come back next week for more. Be sure to check out the other wonderful authors participating in Sneak-Peek Sunday.


p_carrots in basketWe plant the carrots (or words and queries if you prefer); we sow the seeds and hope for an abundant harvest. Despite our best efforts, our diligent attention to our writing garden, the consistent watering, feeding and weeding; not all carrots grow to the same size.

Does size matter? Harvest is harvest and whatever the size of the harvest, it’s all edible.

As writers, when we’re establishing a career, making contacts and getting our name out there, any carrot is a good carrot, even if it’s small, petite and one-bite-sized. We earnestly write away, striving for those first published clips. Those first clips are glorious and exciting – even if given away for free. If a small pittance was sent our way for them, life is even better.

Eventually though, we discover that while even the itty-bitty carrots are edible, it takes a whole slew of tiny carrots to fill the basket.

Three and five cent a word markets get us clips. We’re published, hooray! But to grow a career, we have to keep looking for larger carrots. There is a time and a place for those free and low paying writing gigs. Sometimes there are other non-monetary benefits we receive from these tiny markets. But, when I got a $300 contract for a national magazine feature, it registered how many three cents a word children stories I had to write to equal this one big carrot.

Here’s to carrots, small and large, as they all add up to equal a writing career. I’ll keep sowing my seeds and tending my garden. And if the harvest includes a crop of smaller carrots nestled in amongst the larger ones, I’ll take those too. Overall, size does matter if we want to pay the bills and make a living writing, but that doesn’t mean I’ll throw away tiny opportunities either. Because I’m a writer, that’s what we do – we write.


Comments on: "Planting Carrots: Does Size Matter?" (2)

  1. I enjoy your gardening metaphors, especially at this time year when our own garden in our backyard seems to be producing some pretty measly carrots. 🙂 As a novelist, it can sometimes feel like the finished product is a giant basket full of teeny-tiny carrots harvested one at a time. What a great day when the basket is finally full and we can type the words “The End” … only to start all over again!

    • Yes Delynn, it takes a whole slew of measly carrots to fill up that basket! Here’s to a harvest of HUGE carrots in your writing life!

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