What kind of writer are you? Gardener or architect?

Which are you – an architect or a gardener?

Julia Lee Author

I’m always interested in how other people write, so I loved this analogy from Ian Beck, illustrator and children’s author.  He was speaking at last weekend’s Federation of Children’s Book Groups Conference and I was lucky enough to be in the audience.

Ian Beck, author and illustrator, image David Bartlett/FCBG. Ian Beck, image by David Bartlett/FCBG.

He spoke of writers as either gardeners or architects. An architect makes blueprints and models, and work proceeds from these. Everything is planned in advance, and in detail. The finished building is (fore)seen before construction begins.

A gardener, on the other hands, plants a seed, waters it and waits to see what happens. The seed grows, and changes as it does so. Hopefully, it flourishes.

Ian said that he is gardener, and only discovers what a book is about when he has written a draft.

I’m a writer and a gardener, literally. I’ve been doing both for most of my life…

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