Black Raspberries & Writing

I love black raspberries. I am NOT fond of the perfumy red ones. We had a thriving black raspberry patch just off the back porch when I was a kid. Mom would make pie and jelly and bowls of berries with sugar and cream. But best of all was just standing in the yard eating dew-wet fruit.

You can’t buy black raspberries at the grocery store. Oh, a farmer’s market may have some once in a great while, but they are hard to come by. So my best bet for getting berries here in NC was to plant some canes. Unfortunately, it takes at least two years after planting to get fruit and three years to get enough fruit to count for anything. Such a loooong time.

So for six or seven years I didn’t plant any canes. I just thought longingly of berries. And then I realized that if I’d planted the fruit when I first thought of it, I’d have been eating black raspberries for at least three years. Well that’s pretty stupid.

I planted canes four years ago. Yesterday I ate a handful of early berries. And they’re just as good as I remember. I ate some last year, too. And the year before. Prior to that, I was waiting. First on myself to actually plant some canes and then on God to work His magic to make some fruit. It was worth it.

The only way to be an author is to write. Dreaming about writing, reading about writing, sketching out great ideas in your mind–none of these will get you a publishing contract. Yes, it takes time. Two years, three years, a decade. But the surest way to NOT get published is to only think about writing. Just like thinking about planting is an excellent way NOT to get fruit.

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