The Secret Garden of Writing

‘The Secret Garden’ of Writing


As I think (and write) about my favorite books, my memories of reading, and how all of that has affected me and my writing–I can’t help but think of that “secret garden” of Frances Hodgson Burnett acclaim.

Perhaps you too have imagined yourself pulled back into the pages of The Secret Garden. And, why?

  • It’s a reminder that tragedy happens, even to the young and innocent. All we can do is cope (and help our children to discover ways to survive.
  • The book is about renewal, and about rebirth. We come to understand that anything can become new again–as long as enough time, care, and understanding are put forth.
  • Change takes us out of our comfort zone(s), away from everything we’ve known and loved. At the end of the day, though, (even through the tragedy and heart-ache) change can take us right where we need to be.
  • That secret garden is a fairyland, a magic place. I’ve always wanted a place like that (perhaps we all do, without ever really knowing it).
  • It’s also an exploration of communication, and the re-discovery of language between human beings who should care about each other (but who are so afraid of connecting).

Burnett also wrote: “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

What wonders in writing and literature would we create if we were had a place like the secret garden, as a reading spot, a writing spot, or just a place to sit or walk and soak up the simple beauty of Nature?

Have you ever discovered your “secret garden”? What did it inspire you to write?

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Esther is a full-time freelancer, who draws upon her background to deliver fun and compelling stories. To her, the story and the vehicle(s) of expression are important, but sometimes it's just as essential to explore those areas just outside one's comfort zone. She loves to jump head-first into that deep ravine, and discover where her parachute will take her.

29 thoughts on “‘The Secret Garden’ of Writing

  1. Pam

    The Secret Garden has long been one of my favorite books. It’s got a great message and I can return to it again and again. I haven’t discovered my “secret garden” yet, but not for lack of trying.

  2. kimtb

    You know, as I think about this, I don’t know that a secret garden inspires me to write, but it helps me contemplate and centers me…and then I can write. But being outside doesn’t help me be very productive…just the opposite. I do need a window though!

  3. Alisha Kostiuk

    Thank you for sharing. Change I think helps us to create relationships based on who we really are. It can be wonderful in-light of tragedies and heart ache.

  4. Lisa_GrandmasBriefs

    I loved that book, too. Now, as silly as it may seem because my yard is a wild and crazy bungled jungle of “hmmm…!”, my yard is my secret garden. It’s where I head when I need to clear my head… or fill it with new thoughts.

  5. Lois Alter Mark

    The Secret Garden is such a beautiful, classic book and I love that you’re looking at it in all new ways here. Makes me want to go back and read it again.

  6. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I think of my garden as a smaller, less secret but still restorative secret garden. I marvel at the changes in nature with each season and feel inspired over and over again.

  7. Roz Warren

    Haven’t revisited The Secret Garden for decades but I happen to be re-reading Anne of Green Gables. When I first read the book, I was Anne’s age. Now I’m the same age as the elderly folks who adopt her. But it’s still a great read. You’ve inspired me to put The Secret Garden on my “to read” list. Thanks!

  8. Chelle @ Oh Just Stop Already

    I must be the oddball here as I haven’t read that story. I owned the book as it was passed down in my family but it just never interested me for some reason. Going to have to check it out now that I’m older.

  9. wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas

    I think I’ve had several secret gardens over the years, none as great as the ones I found when writing poetry and lengthy academic work as a literature major. Now, I’m a mom of 2 young children and those days seem so far away. I’d love to get lost in my words again, but I know that day will come soon enough. Trying not to wish this time away is a challenge when you crave a little time alone with the blank page!

  10. Stacie

    I have always loved, loved, loved that book! It was magical.
    I lve looking at the mountains from my porch. Inspiring and magestic

  11. Trisha

    I love the way you put it! I don’t think I’ve discovered my “secret garden” just yet but I should find one!

  12. Rebekah

    I haven’t found mine yet, but I imagine it’d be a room with a lot of colors, art, and texture, and antique furniture.

  13. KatyRose

    I haven’t read the Secret Garden in so long – this post makes me want to rediscover it. Personally, I write from anywhere but find myself especially inspired after a night out. Something about being around a large portion of humanity makes me want to pick up my latest MS. – Katy

  14. thedomesticbuzz

    I recently found The Secret Garden at Target for $1 and scooped it right up! My daughter is reading it now. I hope she likes it as much as I remember I did when I was younger. Maybe I’ll even read it with her.

  15. texdona

    Burnett also wrote: “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” I haven’t found mine either, but this reminder gave me hope

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