Veronique Darwin

Living in a Greenhouse

In Inspiration, Thoughts on Writing on July 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Am I growing, in here? I took over a greenhouse; all the plants are outside.

I’m alone in a greenhouse for a week, which could be a science experiment, prison, or the life of a writer. I’m attending a writing workshop on Denman Island (it takes place in a regular building) and I return here, to a greenhouse, every night to sleep. Before I sleep I wait out the setting of the sun by reading, by writing; sometimes I do yoga.

The format of a writing workshop, I’ve come to learn, is one that is infinitely helpful but still doesn’t simulate the life of a writer. It’s a group thing, a workshop. But I write alone. I’ve shown my work to others and heard their kind and helpful words. But, I think, I’m supposed to write alone.


I do love this, this writing community. I’ve found people who are writers, who tell me, you’re a writer, who understand that all that it is to be a writer is to sit there and write, not produce, not publish, but write. To be writing.

And I love this other community too. Denman Island has 800 people, the amount of people you might find on 3 city blocks, but such a high concentration of them are artists, writers, jewellers, sculptors, gardeners, musicians, potters and creators. Everyone here comes home to a greenhouse. Everyone comes home to become something. They do their work and  they come home and they don’t do their garden, they don’t do their writing: they garden; they write.

I’m growing, in here, through this glass, in this heat. I’m here alone but I’m surrounded by plants, by water and sunshine and people who are telling me, grow! You’re growing!

I don’t know, I’m not writing much, but doesn’t it sure feel like it?

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