We pass by once

41

“Coming soon,” words I have wanted to say for many months. After a lot of writing, rewriting, critiquing, editing and more editing, I will soon take my next book to print.

I have a passion for this project that is infectious. Although other possibilities came along, I never lost my fervor for this latest book. And so, I push forward moving my words to print.

It is important to find the right publisher, someone who knows how to target a market, then manage it by scale. It’s not an easy process. It is one that can cause a person to want to lose sight of why they started. 

These are seasons. Everything and everyone move in and out of them. In fact, I have moved through many personally. I’m certain I haven’t navigated all of them perfectly. I’ve missed a few harvests and winters, and likely lost sight of a few good springs. We can’t go back and do any of them over, but we can learn from each.

We drove by a tree with branches laden with big red, juicy apples, with many of them left to rot on the ground. 

I said to my Sweet Al, “No one thought to take care of the harvest. What a shame. Look at the waste. The tree did its part, the seasons did their part, but someone overlooked moving the apples from branch to shelf.”

This was almost symbolic of book projects that I have worked on in the past, where years would be spent on a great idea, then the fruit of labor would be left to rot. How many manuscripts do I have, files on my computer, hidden from view? 

Likely one of my greatest teachable moments: Lost ideas can’t retrieve themselves back into relevance. 

Writers don’t want to worry about selling their ideas, they just want to enjoy developing their characters and craft. But, if not processed to the next state, they are like apples dropping to the ground. 

If we don’t manage the fruit of our labor at an appointed time, we may miss our chance to bring about something fresh and crisp, in-season. 

Our out-of-town friend came to see us. She said, “You should have retreats and invite people to your home. You’ve got a perfect place to entertain.”

“Not going to happen.” I said, “I had Christian Artist and Writers’ retreats for 21 years, from 1986 to 2007. They served their purpose and time. 

“Do you think your efforts accomplished anything?” 

I know they did. I described how the working sessions and group projects developed people. Also, how many notable Christian writers and authors today count themselves as participants at these retreats. 

We gave people a place to sort through their creative ideas, some of whom were able to turn those into careers. 

So many people seem to be moving to a point of completion on a work assignment, hobby or talent. Then, as if completely aware, start a new interest or project. They lose all track of what they have done and any potential reward. 

Final brushstroke: A 70,000-word manuscript is ready to be harvested. I remind myself to embrace the season I am now in, that the story cannot stop, just because the typing has. These are the seasons where we get to give birth to a thought or idea, then see it appreciated as a life form all its own. 

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