Monday, July 2, 2012


Last summer my dashingly handsome sidekick started a major DIY backyard renovation. He built a retaining wall, started a fence, and this spring he started flattening out the slope so we could have a larger flat space. Basically it will be a more kid-friendly back yard.

This last weekend he rented a Bobcat digger and finished the flattening.

This has been his pet project. He tried to explain it to me many times, but until today--when I finally saw the earth carved out where another retaining wall will go-- I didn't catch his vision.

This is a year into the project, mind you. Realizing someone else's vision can take awhile.

And we're not really close to being done. There are huge dirt piles, a lot more fence to build, sod to put down, not to mention the new retaining wall.

I watched my DHS slaving away in the back yard this afternoon. His perseverance reminded me of the blood and sweat we writers put into our projects.Writing a novel is just as arduous a process, even without the heavy machinery.

Kittens watching daddy at work

Our friends and families watch us work, obsess and chew our fingernails off, and they probably don't completely understand why we bother. 

I wish I could say I was always 100% supportive of the backyard project, trusting my DHS's vision even before I "saw" it for myself, but the truth is -- it's been expensive, time consuming, noisy, messy. It's taken him away from our family at times when I wish it wouldn't have.

But in the end, when my kids are back there playing soccer or doing cartwheels in the grass, it will all be worth it.

Same with writing.

Is it worth all the trouble, all the heartache, all the stress? Time will tell. All I'm holding on to right now is the vision.

How about you? What's your vision?


  1. Great analogy. I've toiled away on non-writing and writing things. The long hours and hard work do pay off, in some areas quicker than others. When things aren't formed yet or look like a mess, people have questioned me about things, as if the fruits of my labor are supposed to be apparent right away. People have to start somewhere. It's my vision of things that motivates me to work harder.

  2. It's hard to trust your vision over long periods of time. you say...hopefully its worth it. Who knows... Good luck with the renovation (both the backyard and all the writing!)

  3. It can be so difficult to understand someone else's vision! And sometimes easy to lose sight of your own. But fingers crossed it's all worth it!

  4. Well put. I think it's especially hard for people (my hubs) to "get" why we writers do what we do. So much of it is just us and the computer, with nothing visible to others until we get published (hopefully) one day. But we've got that grand vision, and I think as long as we keep on keepin' on, it will definitely be worth it :)

  5. Love the pic of your cat looking out the window!

  6. I can imagine it's hard to live with the work in progress in your yard, just as it's frustrating to have an incomplete story on your hands that you can't let others enjoy yet. But the soccer games--and the printed book--are so worth the wait, aren't they?

  7. I really think it depends on where the vision comes from ...

    If it's from God, all the work and sweat is worth it. And there is peace. When it's from other gods (pride, money, power, etc.) I think the results are to the detriment, no matter what people might say. I say this because I was a person who adored false gods, and still struggle with it.

  8. Sometimes it's hard to support a project when you can't visualise the end product.
    It does sound like it will be great when finished...and I'm hoping for you that will be soon!

  9. What a great comparison!! Seeing the vision requires an equal part of faith! :)

  10. the soil does look very dry, almost like sand. Good luck with it all.

  11. As I stare over the barren plain that is our backyard, I have to say I'd like some trees and hills! ;) Our house in Seattle had a great backyard that included a terrace - we had rosebushes and ivy growing over it. I'm sure you'll make yours just as pretty.
    And flat spaces are good for hosting today's barbeque! Have a great July 4!

  12. Nice post! I like the analogy! I'm holding on to the vision, too, and I believe it will be worth it! :)


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