Saturday, May 21, 2011

To Everything There is a Season: Spring

To Everything There Is a Season. In my office, right on top of my computer monitor, I have a little sign that sports these words. It is there to remind me that life is an ever-evolving journey and if I don't like the place I find myself in today, never fear, tomorrow the view out my window will be different.

One of the many hats I wear is that of "farmer's wife". Normally springtime on the farm is a flurry of activity, getting the crop in the ground. This year, however, spring apparently didn't get the memo. Cold, wet days with little sunshine are not ideal planting conditions. Now I've added to my job repertoire "farmer's therapist". I can sympathize with my poor, frustrated hubby, because I realize how similar writing and farming can be. Let me explain.

Before the seed can go into the ground, my hubby must prepare the soil. Plowing, fertilizing, praying. As writers, we prepare too. Whether you're a "plotter" or a "pantser", at least a little planning is first on the list of every new writing project. Research, plotting, praying. Getting it in our head before we get it down on paper.

There is more involved in planting than just pushing a little seed into the ground. Sowing, waiting, praying. Watching for those little shoots to burst forth from the ground. Praying that the fertilizer will make them strong. Guarding against weeds or pests that might choke out the tender plants. Keeping an eye out for hail or standing water or scorching heat that might damage the fragile leaves, stems, or roots. Praying that the one tiny seed that goes into the ground will result in tall, healthy plants heavy with bounty. Writing, rewriting, praying. Writers plant the seeds of words and ideas. We rewrite and delete, making our writing strong. We guard against pet words, passive writing, and head-hopping. We keep an eye out for industry changes, trends, and keeping a consistent voice. And, always, we pray that God will take our words and multiply them.

My hubby needs other people to help him on his way to harvest. Helping, supporting, praying. I run him between fields, helping him move equipment and seed. He heeds the advice of industry experts regarding pest infestations or weather cycles. I support him with food, running the house in his absence, and in prayers for safety, rest, and yields. Writers may write in solitude, but they aren't alone. Helping, supporting, praying. We network and grow in our craft with the help of those that are a little further down the writing road. Critique groups and writing buddies move us out of our comfort zones, pushing us to higher levels of writing. Industry experts support us with advice on trends and the ever-changing publishing world. And we share in one another's burdens and victories, always lifting up prayers for encouragement, perseverance, and steadfastness to the faith.

Wherever you are on the road to publication, I pray for you today. I pray that you remember there is a season for everything. I pray that you are diligent and persevere. I pray that your hard work is rewarded. And always, I pray for you that you remain steadfast to the faith that is the root of all we do.


  1. This is the wettest spring in our lifetimes in this part of Ohio. The farmers in our area are repeating Gods promise that as long as time lasts there will be a seedtime and harvest.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful post.

  3. Thank you, ladies. And Joy, when I read a recent blog post of yours, it "sprouted" this idea for my turn on the blog. So, indeed, you are planting even when you don't know it--which is partnership. :) Keep writing, I know your season is coming and I know I'm not the only one who is a huge fan of all you write.

  4. As one of your writing colleagues, I hope that we can help with encouraging and fertilizing your rich imagination. Writing buddies certainly can be uplifting. Thanks for this contribution!

  5. Nikki,

    This is such a good reminder for me! Thank you. I'm in the preparation and planting stages, and I'm grateful for this season.