Monday, April 23, 2018

Quote of the Day (Robin Lane Fox, on Why Good Writers Are Usually Not Good Gardeners)

“It is strangely difficult to attend to two things at once and it is a big mistake – made by outsiders – to think gardening is a mindless routine. If you are weeding, you are thinking about weeding. If you are deadheading, you have some spare capacity, but not consistently. A deadheader’s mind can wander, but it cannot focus on something as complex as the next sentence or the next twist in the story. I have never had an idea for one of my history books or hit on a good phrase while trying to root out bindweed or tidy up roses after flowering. Gardening is a process that takes about a quarter of an hour to become absorbing. A bout of it can then be therapeutic, but it does not unlock a writer’s brain. It is not punctuated by thoughts about a book. It is punctuated by thoughts about whether it is time for a break.”—British historian and gardening writer Robin Lane Fox, explaining why good writers don’t usually make good gardeners, in “Why Weeds and Words Don’t Mix,” The Financial Times, November 22-23, 2014

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