I'm one of those people who needs to have something to focus on. I need something more than my day job -- I want a challenge.
Before I discovered writing for publication, I discovered other things: needlework (made many an afghan, sweater, wall hanging, table runner in my day), painting (never was good at that), reading (I was always an avid reader, but I did some reviews). Then I found gardening.
At our first house in Pittsburgh we did some extensive gardening: retaining walls, new flower beds, front yard makeover. It was an odd yard since part was "up top" near the house and part was down a hill (if you've ever been in Pittsburgh, you know of what I speak). We couldn't grow up "down hill" because of shade, but I had fun trying.
Then we moved to Minnesota and I really got into gardening. I remade the back yard of our house into an English country garden. It took years to do because there was a LOT to do, but it was interesting. Put in a pond, made paths through the garden, tried different plants. I got a degree in Landscape Horticulture (AAS) and did garden designs and plans for friends.
Then I discovered writing. And alas, all other things were put aside. I work full time so my writing occupies all of my free time. But I still love gardening. So this year, I set aside some money and I hired someone to re-landscape the front of my house. I now have about 80% of it planted by the landscaper, with plenty of spots for me to add my own touches. I can't tell you how nice it was to watch guy after guy wheel past me with loads of mulch, dirt, rocks, etc. I remember doing all of that myself, and it was SWEET to watch somebody else do it.
So now I can garden and write. In fact, I can write IN my garden. I has the Happy.
If you want to see the garden, check out my Facebook photos (https://www.facebook.com/jayellwilson). I can't wait to get out there and write!