Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seasons of a Writer's Life

Life is all about seasons, isn’t it? Year in and year out we see them in nature. But we see them in our personal lives, too—good times, bad times; times of prosperity, difficult times; sickness, health. I’m sure you’ll agree that the seasons are here for growth, whether in the flowers and trees, the birds and the bees, or our own personal emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual growth.

I found a great Pinterest board with encouraging sayings about this very same thing. Things like embracing the season you’re in, or that fact that seasons come and seasons go.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy a visit to

Even the Bible speaks about these seasons of life in the book of Ecclesiastes—a time for this, and a time for that. The same is true for the life of the writer. We have definite seasons of summer, autumn, winter, and spring. I believe for the writer, the seasons begin with...

...that awesome, fun, and exciting season when our minds explode with new story ideas, when words (excuse the pun) spring to mind. It’s a time of busyness, a time of planting—words, thoughts, ideas. Oh my, isn’t that manuscript going to be magnificent come summer?

Mark Twain has this to say about the season: “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

And as writers, struck with spring fever, we want to get that story down on paper. So, with our ideas seeds sown, our story begins to grow, and before we know it, we’re into the heat of ....

...slogging and sweating to get to those last two words—The End—and reveling in the warmth of each day as we watch with excitement, anticipation, and yes, even anguish. Ten thousand words. Twenty. Fifty. As in nature, the days are longest during summer; the nights shortest. We work much, sleep little. Got to get that first draft done.

I love what Russel Baker has to say about this glorious season: “Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”

We delight in the writing process, but let’s face it, it’s hard work. And oh, don’t we just love it!
“There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. Why, God, does everything have to end? Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go?” ~ Joe Wheeler.

I hate seeing a manuscript come to an end, because it’s almost time to say goodbye to a place that I’ve spent hours in, and a hero and heroine I’ve come to adore. But there’s a season that’s waiting, that must follow summer—it’s the law of nature.

It’s also the law of the writing process. Editing is the writer’s autumn and there’s a good reason this season is known as fall. It’s a time for all those unnecessary words to fall away, a time to kill those darlings with the editor’s pruning shears. But autumn is also a beautiful, colorful season, and the same can be said for the writer’s autumn because it is in this busy cutting and shaping season that our writing takes on the rich hues of a piece worthy of publication. I just love these two autumn sayings:
  • October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter. ~Nova S. Bair
  • Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. ~Jim Bishop
How true—for nature, for the writer. But autumn must make way for...

 And so begins the long, cold season of life. Every mile is two in winter says George Herbert and he’s absolutely right. There’s no season I dread more in my writing life. That waiting, waiting, waiting for this endless season to cease with that glorious publishing contract we check our in-boxes daily for.

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

If you’re stuck in the dead of winter, ponder on this very wise proverb:  “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” And when it comes, our minds come alive once more with the colors of spring. New story ideas. New heroes and heroines to fall in love with. New armchair places to journey to. And, along with that, a brand new book to begin marketing before that long-awaited release day.

More planting. More work. Another busy cycle in the seasons of a writer’s life. I think contemporary Turkish playwright and novelist, Mehmet Murat ildan, hit the nail on the head when he wrote: Winter is dead; spring is crazy; summer is cheerful and autumn is wise!

What season of your writing or personal life do you find yourself in today?

MARION UECKERMANN's passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novella, Helsinki Sunrise (White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport to Romance series). Her second Passport to Romance novella, Oslo Overtures, and her first Indie novella, Orphaned Hearts (Book 1 in her Heart of Africa Romance series), both release mid 2015. Marion loves writing romances set in novel places. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

You can find her at or her Amazon author page.

Follow Marion on:


  1. Beautiful analogy, Marion. I love the way your mind works. (No secret there **grin**)

    Thank you for putting this so concisely and cogently.

    1. Judith, you know I love your beautiful mind, too :)

  2. Love it! And so glad I can ease the wait of a long cold winter with burst of spring as ideas for the next project warm me :)

    1. It's a great privilege to share your seasons with you, Angela. I look forward to that end of winter for you, and I so enjoy your springs and summers while walking together through autumn :)

  3. Appreciate this post! A good reminder

    1. Thanks, Sandra. I was so intrigued when the connection of the seasons dawned on me as I pondered what to blog this month. So glad it's been a good reminder to all.

  4. Such a vivid description. I especially love all the quotes that encapsulate each season perfectly. Thanks for adding some colour to the drab winter day :-)

    1. Thanks Jeb. So glad you enjoyed the blog and the quotes. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it and searching for the perfect quotes to complement each season.

  5. Marvellous post, Marion. The hard thing for us to acknowledge is we need winters. Just as in nature, a lot happens in the "shadows" of winter: refuelling, strengthening, preparation for the new birth of spring. I'd suggest I'm in a winter with my writing and have been yelling and screaming wanting it to end rather than appreciating it for what it is. However, I can see the new dawn of spring on the horizon.

    1. Thanks for the reminder of the shadows of winter, Ian. We do tend to forget that when we're shivering from the cold of the season ... or could those shivers be from anticipation, rather?

  6. A beautiful post, and I love the Baker quote! I think the thick heat outside sums up the writing season I'm in at the moment just fine!

  7. Isn't that quote so appropriate, Sara? It's like the Hemingway quote: There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Guess he was in the heat of summer when he wrote that :)

  8. Marion, great post! I love your analogy :)

  9. Super post Marion, and I love your images. Did you do them yourself? If so, how did you do the lettering?