This morning I finally sat to work on a poem I wrote for inclusion in a local anthology. As I looked at the piece, I began to change, add, remove, re-read and reconsider my words. I had already done this at least twice if not three times prior, but today, finally, I reworked the opening portion to my satisfaction. After I sent it off, I reread it and found a grammatical error, and a questionable line placement that seemed fine, until another look.
How does one know when something is “finished”? Or at least when it is presentable? It seems to me a writer’s work is never done. As a matter of fact, I mentioned this to my writing instructor, who is wise about such things. She confirmed my suspicion, admitting she picks up pieces and revises them repeatedly as well. Part of that is needful, especially as one begins to groom their work for further writing opportunities.
Although a writer may participate in community with their writing life, often there is work to be done that can only be done in solitude. There is an ever pensive balance between living, writing, community and solitude that the writing soul seeks to attain in order to do the work needed. Doing the work is the theme that sets the tone for Season 3 of the writing life.
The steady tapping away of keys, hopeful anticipation of progress and the victory of new accomplishments are some of the aspects of this season. Growth happens and opportunities arise. Revision and Rejection are experienced and unavoidable if one hopes to continue on the journey toward their writing goals. Some discover their writing identities during this time. Their unique voice begins to emerge. There is a rhythm in their writing life and writing.
For me, as one writing redeemed, there is also a balance in seeking and sharing, sorting out the humanity from grace and allowing the Spirit to sift and merge them, leading and guiding, hopefully to the balance God desires me to attain. There is also the desire to improve the nuts and bolts that make up details that cannot be overlooked for long in writing. The mechanics of writing can be merciless.
Cultivating our unique voice, we set forth on our unique journey. We refine, accept constructive criticism or friendly feedback- however you want to look at it. If you are fortunate enough to have any who give it to you. Either way, others offer input that is invaluable to the writer’s progression. I had no experience with the submission process, until 2015 at the encouragement of my writing group’s leader. Of course, submitting work for publication means you enter the arena whereby many rejections are suffered. I’m not saying I enjoy the process. I don’t, but I will say, it’s helped me immensely.
I have gone from blogging to public readings, to publication. There is a progression, and I WILL celebrate my progress and unique journey.
I will continue to seek God’s will for my writing, and trust what He allows and what He does not. I know His plan is far better than anything I could fathom. His plan…His purpose is for me to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…and for my writing to reflect this.
He has never asked me to reveal anything more than His grace, and my humanity. He has not asked me to use fancy words or snarky jargon. He has asked me to reveal the good, bad and ugly of His working out His grace in my life…for better and worse. He has asked me to be brave, and to be available and sensitive to His Spirit and leading with this gift.
This means that I have a limited audience in many ways. Or at least it would seem. But, I’m not wasting my energy worrying about who will accept my writing and who won’t. My eyes are on a far greater prize. Sometimes, I forget, and get off track, but for the most part, I keep that piece intact in my writing, and in my life. I’m not holding up the mantle for you as one who has all the answers, or has it all together…there are too many doing so already.
I’ve got nothing to sell…and freely I have received, so freely I give.
I’m just a girl sharing her journey of grace and truth…I know this is what I am called to do. I am overcoming the superficial life…a life I see many settle for- in the church especially- with grace, authenticity and truth. That is my purpose for writing, friends. That is my purpose for living.
I’d say perseverance is the soul of this season. Pressing on, doing the work and continuing to develop the areas that need to be developed in your writing life.
What is your purpose for writing?
What are you cultivating in your writing life?
What is the next step for you?
Will you trust God’s no as readily as His yes?
This is my story, this is my song…
I am Writing Redeemed in October for 31 Days,
Thank you for joining me on the journey. I pray my sharing encourages you in your own journey. Write about it, journal it, share it! Most of all, encourage another along the way.
One thought on “Seasons of the Writing Life: Season 3- Cultivate”
Dawn- This season seems like one of the most difficult, as we have to experience the rejections and the nos of God…a refining season for sure. But necessary as you say…it seems to that the question of audience raises to the surface in this season…who is my audience…am I writing for them or for me? how does having my audience or perceived lack of one influence my writing? These are questions I ask as I cultivate my writing life.
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