Welcome to the final installment in the 4 Seasons of the Writing Life.
Before I share my thoughts on the fourth season of the writing life, I want to ask you some questions. Have any of the prior seasons described resonated with you? Have you recalled passing through or feeling stuck in one particular season?
What wisdom, tips or lessons have you learned which might be useful to share with our community here? I know there are some experienced writers that visit Enthusiastically, Dawn – and I thank you for doing so! I would love for you to share your thoughts, experiences or insights with those who are reading this and also ME!
As for the final season, we come to the place where the rubber hits the road. Or the corn comes off the cob?
To harvest is to gather together. As writers we are not gathering together corn, squash or pumpkins. We are gathering together the work we wish to share. It is the culmination of the days of writing, and it is marked by an inner knowing for many writers.
The crops are ready to be gathered, brought into the barn, sorted and prepared for market.
It sounds incredibly simple.
But, it can be a time of doubt and discouragement. It can and does cause some writers to shelf their work for good.
Harvesting season for a writer happens when one has accumulated enough work, or has a particular work ready to proceed. But where to proceed? Depending on the genre, one is presented with a number of directions to pursue. This can be overwhelming. Literary publications, contests, fellowship opportunities, grants, publishing companies with multiple branches, vanity presses, self-publishing, agents, the list goes on and on.
Figuring out where one’s work fits is another time-consuming obstacle a writer must face. Unless one has an agent.
I’ll be honest, I’m still overwhelmed by the myriad of options available. As one who has coached others, I can see the value of having a coach when entering an unknown arena more clearly now.
As I see it, the harvest precedes the releasing into the world one’s message. If writing is one aspect of your lifework, your message released into the world may be accomplishment enough for you. But for many, it is the tip of the iceberg.
Do you believe authoring your one book – your message- will satisfy your publishing itch?
Or do you believe you have within you a plethora of stories and words pressing from within to be released into the world, and once set free, will be like a broken dam, the start of a new ongoing journey?
I confess…I know about the season of Harvest, because I believe God revealed this was the season for me to “harvest” my writing and step forward in faith. I believed I would complete publishing my first book a few years back, but I know in retrospect that was ahead of God’s timing. I wasn’t ready. The cycle was not complete. But, the seed was there, and I thought I could say it and strong-arm it into happening. But, that is not the way for me. Or for any who truly pick up their pen with the hope of glorifying His name.
If you think I am the type to immediately comply with God’s revealed will to me, I am sorry to disappoint you. I drag my feet; I tend to excessively question, doubt, and ask for more help than God wills at the moment. I make mountains of molehills and point out Goliath at every turn. I see obstacles. God continues to be patient with me.
This season is the season of more. More hands, more work. Harvest calls for community. Many hands make the work light. Revision, editing, cover design, format. Doing the work, finding the right few people to support you through to the outcome is key.
Gathering, community, work. These are the themes of the season if one wants to get it done. One needs to: gather together the work for consideration; Find the community of people who will support your momentum, and hold you accountable; Be ready to do the work, redo the work, and repeat as needed.
Where are you on this journey?
What is your biggest obstacle to forward momentum?
What one step can you take to move forward?
What one person can offer support for your decision?
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.
5 thoughts on “Seasons of the Writing Life: Season 4- Harvest”
The history of my writing is really different, and too complicated to tell here. I’ve long thought of writing a blog telling about it. It might influence how some people define “writer,” and decide what to do with their writing bent or gift. I just have to “get around to it”…
Thanks for sharing your expereince here. I think it’s much more “normal”! 🙂
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I’m not sure I understand what you mean by normal, but I appreciate your reading and commenting as always, Syl! I just think as far a defining writer goes-I think there are many who write for as many different reasons…I guess each person can define for themselves what the label “writer” means to them. I think in my opinion, the Lord can do what He wants with me…as long as He express His creative power through me for His glory…despite my messy I am good with that.
Thank you for the beautiful, heartfelt series!! I had to read it a bit late, medication kept me too hyper to concentrate. (Warning…steriods and shopping do not mix!! ……watch out!!) I am more of a visual artist, and journaler than a writer. But I believe all this resonates with me too. The bud trying to keep closed, keep everything inside. Hurts. But allowing yourself to grow without fear–like a child exploring, is a beautiful thing. Gotta get out of your own way!! The arts are very singular, alone….I fully agree sharing with others helps you grow whether the creative spirit is in painting, writing, making music…..it’s a very similar journey…our song needs to be told!! I have written many of the prompts that you have given, and my writing helps me lessen the fear for everything else. Thank you!!! Sorry for the incoherent comments….still on those steriods!!! 🙂 But my house is cleaner!!!
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I so love that housecleaning medicine…lol. Please take care of yourself. and you are so right… artists- of all kinds…have similar journeys…
Dawn- True wisdom here…even though the previous seasons are more likely to be experienced in solitude…the harvesting and the producing does take a team. One thing I like about blogging though is that I can be my own editor and publisher and even critic…lol… I did self-publish a book five years ago, but I haven’t found the momentum to really self-promote it…I am thinking about doing some research about e-books and how to publish and promote those. Although having a paperback version of my very own harvested book was very satisfying, I did have a cover artist, a group of friends were my “copy editors” and also gave me endorsements for the back cover. I used a local printer/on demand publisher to have the books printed. Then I sold them to family and friends and gave a few away. I had to have a coach to help me stay on task with formatting the book and doing the inside work and editing my own writing. It was a labor of love, and my husband helped me pay for the first print run, and then the subsequent printings were paid from sales. I got to print 100 the first run, and then order 25 at a time as needed. I am about due to order another 25. I think I only have about one copy left…It took me 11 years to get to the place where I was ready to self-publish.
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