Those of us who live on the Canadian prairies have lived through an extremely long winter, and even now with the arrival of May, spring is reluctant to commit. Someecards, via Facebook, quotes as follows: “If my calculations are correct, today is February 82nd…”
Some of us may also be experiencing a long winter in our writing lives. We have, in the past, succeeded in varying degrees in our writing/publishing careers, only to follow that success with an extensive wintry spell where the muse is disinclined to favor us with it’s presence and publishers remain cordial but distant.
We can handle this career freeze in several ways, the first being to wallow in it like a pig in a mud puddle, except the pig is usually happy. Or we can make excuses that sound reasonable but fall short of the truth.
The best remedy, in my experience, is to push aside the whining (Oh, I’m sorry; if you didn’t whine, just ignore that comment), face the facts and determine to do something about them. True, we can’t always change our personal situation, and we certainly can’t force publication, but we can be aware of and respond to opportunities that may open doors for our writing.
I try to take time in January to look ahead at my year and write down some goals, along with ideas on how to achieve them. They may not be lofty goals, but they do require forward movement, and that is key. In all honesty, I don’t always look back at those goals, but once written, they find a place in my subconscious, and subtly suggest direction.
So far this year, I entered a short story, written many years ago and never sold, into a contest and won publication in an anthology. No monetary reward, but better than nothing, and the proceeds go to a worthy cause. I also sought and received a tentative contract with an e-book publisher for a historical novel. After my long publishing winter, this smells of spring. Also, in helping a friend publicize her newly released book, I will have a book review published in a well-known Canadian Christian magazine in the near future.
Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I first prayed, asking the Lord Jesus to bless my ideas and plans, as well as my writing and publishing efforts. He faithfully nudges me along, bringing opportunities before me so I can respond to them. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him and I acknowledge that.
So no matter how long the winter of your discontent, take heart. Pray, think, plan, and move ahead in confidence that spring always follows winter.