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.