Ah… Fall. My favorite time of year! I love the colors of the leaves, the crispness in the air! It’s the time to take long walks down leaf-strewn country roads. The time to wander through a corn maze or go to a Fall Festival. The time for apple cider and hot chocolate and all things “pumpkin spice.”
It’s the beginning of a new season. The heat of the summer is past, and as we look forward to cooler weather, we put away our tank tops, shorts, and sandals. I’m ready to break out my jackets, sweaters, and cute boots. How about you?
It’s a new season for my writing, as well.
I’m working on Book 2 in my series, and I’m finding that it’s a very different experience the second time around.
When I started working on Book 1, no one knew about it. Just me and the Lord. It was our little secret. I could work at my own pace. I could make mistakes. I could start, stop, and then start again. I had the freedom to create this little world of my imagination however I wanted.
After a little while, I let a few people in on my secret – those I trusted with my little dream. I even let a few of them read my work! It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time.
As time went on, more people entered my writing world, as I joined a writers group, then a critique group. I met more writers at conferences and made new friends.
But for the most part, my writing world was still “quiet.”
As I begin work on Book 2, it’s so very different. My writing world is crowded. There are more people involved. More who know about my little dream. More who ask me, “How’s it going?”
I’m trying to get published. Which means going to conferences, meeting agents and editors. Sending proposals. And waiting. Lots of waiting.
But there is still much to do during the waiting periods. I have social media to worry about. Did I tweet today? What should I share on Facebook? I need to update my blog. What will I write about? Am I “engaging” my audience? Am I building my “brand” and “platform”?
For, you see, that is what agents, editors, and publishing houses look at. It’s what they expect me to do – to market myself and my writing. But also, to write. All while holding down a day job. And cooking. And doing the laundry. And oh yeah, trying to have a life somewhere in between.
And I’m finding that it’s just much “louder” this time around. I’m not sitting in my writing room, just me and the Lord, playing with words, creating characters and worlds from my imagination.
There are expectations, people to please, audiences to find, pressures to excel.
And while all of this can be a good thing, it does a number on one’s creativity.
I’m finding that I must try even harder to shut out the “noise.” I have to be mindful to close myself off to the outside world and immerse myself into the writing world. Consciously. Forcefully, even.
The desire to write is still there. Maybe even more so, since I am re-visiting characters I have come to love. Like visiting with old friends. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
It’s still fun. It’s still thrilling and terrifying. But it’s just different. A new season. But just as I look forward to sweater weather and bonfires, I can look forward to this new season – with all its possibilities and unexplored paths and new discoveries that are just waiting for me. And soon the new will become as familiar and comfortable as my favorite pair of boots!
What about you? What is YOUR favorite thing about Fall? What have you discovered through the different “seasons” of life? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below.