.YIKES! Where did the summer go? Here we are, closing the door on August already and welcoming the advent of Autumn -- my favorite season of the year despite the fact that it heralds long, dark, snow-filled months ahead.
.The changing of the seasons is something that in the natural world of God’s creation we anticipate, fully expect. Why is it then, on this wild and crazy journey to publication (or to stay published!) that we’re surprised when a season we don’t care so much for morphs into one we much prefer--or vice versa (I’m NOT a 12-feet-of-snow winter person, but that’s another story). .
.We as writers need to keep in mind that, just as in nature, there are seasons in our lives, seasons we encounter on our writing journey. Some of these seasons will be happy dancin’ triumphant, others less so. Some will introduce a mellow, confident assurance, others more challenges. In some, doors and windows will fling open, reaping for us the rewards of our perseverance. In other we’ll sit in what appears to be a dark, doorless and windowless space. A place where we see little progress. Get discouraged. Doubt ourselves. A place of testing and trusting.
But don’t discount those windowless rooms! Just as when a caterpillar spins that cocoon to be hidden away in darkness for a time, then fights his way out and into the sunshine, there’s a greater purpose to it if we don’t give up, if we cooperate with God and allow him to work in us.
Some seasons last a few days. Some weeks. Some months. Some years. But seasons change. And because seasons often overlap, I believe it’s important not to compartmentalize them in our minds. To label them “all good” or “all bad” or let ourselves think we’re “locked” into a given season indefinitely and let that unrealistically color our thinking. Deceive us into believing things will never change.
Most often it seems we find ourselves in MORE than one season at the same time! That’s where I am right now. Finally published! Winning and finaling in contests I previously only dreamed of! Celebrating a recently acquired 2-book contract! Sounds like a triumphant season, right?
.YES! But at this particular moment I’m working toward a submission deadline for my newly contracted Book #3 while also pulling stuff together to meet an art fact sheet deadline. In the midst of that I’m diligently going over the final galleys for Book #2 to meet yet another deadline. (And have I mentioned I have a demanding day job and have a billion other commitments?) Oh, and I’m squeezing in an hour to write this blog, too!
Is it any wonder last night I vividly dreamed of being on a sinking ship? No foolin'!
.Pretty crazy! But you know what? Being a published writer is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid. So even though physically and mentally drained in this intense moment that accompanies the “highs” of a new contract, I’m aware that this season of deadlines piled one on top of another shall pass. (For a little while anyway!) That knowledge--and the assurance that God is there to help me stay focused and disciplined--keeps me take a deep breath and keep going to get through to the other side of this.
.The awareness of seasons also reminds me to derive enjoyment from each of my writerly tasks. I could quite easily allow them to become drudgery in my mind, but instead I’m choosing to view them as a privilege. Part of the package that comes with the fulfillment of a long-anticipated publication dream.
In the season you’re currently in, what writerly tasks have you allowed to become drudgery? What’s lost its spark, its joy? Yes, I think we all agree the writing life is hard work, but our attitude toward it, the colors we paint it, can make all the difference in how we approach it--how we can find--or not find--positive purpose and enjoyment in the season in which we find ourselves.
.I’ve lived long enough to know that, with all its ups and downs, life happens. “Good” days and “bad” days often mingle. In the midst of the happiest of sunlit times, there may yet be a shadow hovering. We can choose to focus on the sunlight--or on the shadow. It’s important to remember, too, that there are ongoing seasons of planting, weeding and harvesting on our writing journey--a journey that isn’t a sprint, but a marathon.
So what season(s) are you in now? Which have you just come out of? What lessons have you learned to enable you to derive the most from each? Leave a comment today and be eligible to be entered in a drawing for a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card!
Glynna Kaye’s Steeple Hill Love Inspired “Dreaming of Home” is a finalist in American Christian Fiction Writers “Carol Award” and Georgia Romance Writers “The Maggie Award,” as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best Award” and “The Beacon Award.” Her next books (also set in Canyon Springs, Arizona) are “Second Chance Courtship” releasing February 2011, and “At Home In His Heart” debuting August 2011.