The promise of new life.

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Everything is pointing to it. Spring is awakening here in Pennsylvania everywhere you look. My winter coat is hung on it’s wooden peg, hanging out at home nowadays.

This weekend Christian liturgies around the world are focused on it. The promise of new life.

I’ve been feeling this as a writer. If you’re a writer you know that there are many seasons in the writing process and in the vocation of a writer. Let’s be honest, a joyful season of freshness, and promise, isn’t often where you’re at. Especially if writing is something you do on the side of a whole lotta of other this and that’s. I’m guessing being a full-time writer might be easier in some ways. At this stage in my writing career, I can’t speak to that.

As I’m doing my final read before publishing, it feels like when you first leave your winter coat at home, relieved to feel the new warmth of spring on your body. It’s the feeling of leaving socks and hot leather shoes behind after slipping on sandals with your first spring pedicure. A sense of new freedom. Not sure I really noticed this when I was a teenager. Spring just came like all seasons did. Sandals and shorts were worn instead of jeans and sneakers. Followed by summers at the beach. Transitions were simpler back then. I approached changes more directly.

Things are more hard won now. One reason is simply that life gets busier. Busy usually encroaches itself upon simplicity. However, amid professional obligations and life stressors, I found the time to write. I’d get busy. Then I’d clear the space to write again. I had to learn how to write a novel, including reading umpteen articles and books titled ‘How to Write a Novel’.  This took time. As did figuring the editing thing out. Followed by actually writing and editing. Looking back, it’s a lot.

If you’re not a 3 month per book writer, or a ‘year to success’ type of author, the effort takes its toll.

But then spring happens. Publishing is right here in front of me now, and there is a real sigh of relief.  It’s the realization that I made it through winter. Made it through all the work, the struggles to write, as well as writing through the times of fatigue and doubts. Made it to the final draft.

Reading through the final draft is heady. Like being in a garden in full bloom after being cooped up inside for months. During this new stage, I find myself imagining readers hopefully enjoying my novel. Maybe finally earning something for the thousands of hours spent writing. And not least of all, thinking about starting another novel. Years were spent imagining writing any novel one day. Singular. I really want to write a novel one day is how it went in my head, and heart, year after year. With this goal met, I can expand toward my next novel, and the one after that. Pretty cool to actually feel like a writer. So, yes…definitely I can say I feel new life emerging. The promise of it at least.

Not sure what this season will hold. But as glad as I am to put on my sandals, leaving my coat on it’s wooden peg as I run out the door, less weighed down, I’m grateful to move on to the next phase in a writer’s life. Moving past all that got me to this point, and at last publishing my debut novel.

Where are you at? Winter? Spring? Each of the seasons is beautiful, and yet each holds it’s own distinct challenges. Some seasons in life have more challenges than others. Each stage is necessary, however. No matter if it’s a season where you’re learning, growing, expanding, sharing, celebrating or cashing in on your efforts. Try to stay present to it. Good or bad, no season lasts forever. So hang in there if it’s a tough one or enjoy if a hopeful time has come.

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