Tomato therapy


I found myself re-potting my tomatoes the other day, and chuckling as I realized that every time I have gotten a rejection letter, I find myself up to my elbows in dirt.  Tomato therapy.  For some reason, I need to balance the life-killing rejection letters by nurturing and giving life to my plants.  Another interesting correlation perhaps, is that this year marks the first I have had a garden (which is surviving my decidedly NON ‘green-thumb’!), and also the first in which I have taken something I’ve written, and sent it on, in hopes of being considered for publishing.

I have noticed another interesting ritual-esque thing I do, and have always done it seems, as I am putting together my memoir.  It’s a rather dark piece about my first meeting with my biological mother.  It seems I am not able to even think about writing something so dark without first writing several short uplifting or inspirational, heart-warming pieces.  These may include long letters to friends, letting them know just how important they are to me, (all of my friends are now reading this and saying “Ohhhhhhh, THAT’s why I keep getting those letters!”), or, possibly a blog post about how important my Grandpa was to me.

I have now discovered also, a love of cooking.  Spending the entire day creating a meal that you know someone else will appreciate.  Today, I am making chili.  The aroma of it is wafting through the house, making my mouth water and my stomach grumble as I sit down to continue the writing of my dark history.

I think that in all things in life, we – as humans – crave balance.  As I reflected upon my own habits and patterns, I found myself wondering what everyone else does.  Surely I am not the only one that finds him/herself digging through the garden, re-building my confidence.

So, I’m asking:  What are the little quirks and patterns you have developed as a writer?  Is there some ritual, or patterned behavior you follow when receiving a rejection letter?  Please comment and let me know!

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3 comments on “Tomato therapy

  1. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful post! I hadn’t thought of using rituals to offset rejection, but it makes a lot of sense.

    I’m with you on cooking. 🙂

    Thanks so much for this. It’s just what I needed this morning.

    ~ Lisa

  2. […] recently read a delightful post, Tomato Therapy, by Michelle Johnson, whose Magical things. Beautiful things blog is a treasure of both […]

  3. Daisy says:

    Tomato Therapy is a very accurate descriptive term. I’d been gardening for years when a devastating depression nearly cost me my job and my sanity. I started tomatoes from seeds for the first time that year, and I’ve continued ever since. Tomato therapy? It forces me to slow down and see life at its natural pace, Gardening, for me, is very healing.

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