Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Everything There is a Season: Autumn

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.            --Stanley Horowitz

To many people, autumn is springtime’s ugly, older sister. While spring is all things beautiful and new, autumn is a fading away, a death. But to this farm wife, autumn is so much more. And, like He is always faithful to do, God teaches me lessons in the fall. Lessons about life and lessons about writing. Here are a few.
Photo credit: Igor Spanholi
Celebration: For a farm family, harvest is evidence of hard work, sweat, and even tears. Proof of weeks spent sowing, tending, and nurturing tiny seeds, tender sprouts, and towers plants. Fall is a time of celebration. And for writers, those oft-solitary creatures, harvest is a time to answer the question, “What do you do all day?” It is proof of the countless hours, days, and sometimes years, spent rear-in-chair checking facts, turning phrases, and tending the stories of our hearts.
Community: Harvest on the farm is a time of communal busyness. The days stretch from early morning’s light to hours past sundown. Extra hands hire on and even the littlest member of the family pitches in and helps out. For writers, that final push to see our work in print involves lots to do. Marketing, negotiations, and social networking keep us immersed in self-promotion from the time our eyes open to the time our head hits the pillow. Our family might need to sacrifice during our harvest time and additional folks like influencers, agents, and editors come alongside to help us  finish strong.
Continuation: Fall isn’t just about endings. Each year as we bring in the harvest, almost immediately, preparations begin for the next growing season. Fertilizer is applied and tractors work the ground, ripping and enriching it in preparation for the next crop. Seed is ordered and plans are made based on predictions and market research. For the writer, our work doesn’t end with submission or publication. New article or story ideas rattle around in our brain and maybe on our storyboard. Plotting begins for the next book or series based on hot topics,  whispers of coming trends, or the passions in our hearts.

If you find yourself in the harvest season of your current project, let us know so we can celebrate with you. If you are in another season, let this be your encouragement that one day you will reap the benefits of all the time, energy, and passion you sow into your writing.

 Read the companion post, To Everything There is a Season: Spring.
Nikki Studebaker Barcus


  1. Nikki, as I slog forward in revising my suspense manuscript, I'll keep in mind that to everything there is a season. I cling to the hope that someday readers will make my pages turn, turn, turn. ;) Thanks!

  2. As always I love reading what you write! I'm in a planting season after a recent harvest. :-) I can't figure out which writing season I like best. I just feel blessed, blessed, blessed to have them, don't you? Write on, Nikki!

  3. I'm in the growing season. The crop is looking good.

  4. Great analogy, esp. for us Hoosier writers! The complications arise when a writer is in the harvest season for one book (I just sent off a ms. to publisher), Christmas for another (promoting most recent release) and spring for another (preparing to start another story)! A summer vacation hopefully hides in there somewhere :-)

  5. I love your posts, Nikki! I'm in the planting stages of writing. What a great analogy!