Have you ever tried to grow mint? Perhaps I should ask if you’ve ever tried to stop mint from growing?
The thing is, you can’t.
This is the story of a humble patch of mint.
Once upon a time in a suburban backyard of Melbourne, some young people planted a patch of mint.
Then they completely ignored the mint and left it to it’s own devices.
As time went by, the mint began to spread. It jumped out of it’s pot and grew around the edge of the garden.
It chased the sunlight and the nutrients and planted itself wherever it could be nourished by both.
It hung out with other plants who also like growing, sunshine and good times.
Eventually the young people noticed that the mint had a mind of it’s own and had taken over their backyard.
They decided that they must do something to control this mint!
First, they tried to weed the mint. But the mint grew back.
Next, they tried to put soil over the mint. But the mint grew through it.
Then, they tried to poison the mint with weed killer. But the mint soldiered on.
So, they tried to mow the mint. But the mint reappeared.
Finally, they decided to concrete over the mint. And then they could see the mint no more.
The days turned into weeks and the mint did not reappear. Satisfied with their efforts, the young people forgot about the mint.
A few weeks later they looked out to admire their concrete. And there was the mint, stretching creatively around the sides of the concrete.
That’s the thing about mint. You can mow it, weed it, put soil over it, spray it with weed killer, poison it and even concrete over it, and it will still keep growing. Because the mint doesn’t know any different, it just wants to grow.
I treated my creativity a bit like mint.
First, I tried to weed my writing by spending seven years at The University of Melbourne learning about other people who write and how to reference them.
Next, I tried to put soil over my writing by becoming a workaholic.
Then, I tried to poison my creativity by studying business and economics.
Determined, I tried to mow down my writing by working in professional sport for a few years.
Finally, I resorted to concreting my creativity by working in gambling for a while.
But just like the mint in my backyard, my creativity always found a way.
It seems my writing is a bit like my mint. Creative, memorable, persistent and excellent with a mojito!
So after all that (occasionally misguided) effort, this is what Penny did next…
Penny Pinkerton is the long lost creative cousin of Melbourne-based writer Lenore Smith.
Lenore likes writing, creating, making little films, scrapbooks, collages, and most importantly, making people laugh.
She writes for The Five Minute Guide, her clients, her netball team, and on the odd occasion for her old friend Penny.