Monday, November 16, 2009

The Harvest

As I was out raking leaves yesterday, and spreading them out as mulch over the new flowerbed, I got to thinking about the harvest.

I think we've gotten away from the experience of the harvest a little with year round produce neatly packaged in nice little baggies in the grocery store. At one point, the stores you set to help you survive the winter were placed there by the hard work of your own hands.

In the spring, new shoots held the promise of plenty and survival for the hard times, through summer, each plant became an embodiment of the care and sweat it took to grow them. And in the fall, that hard work was reaped fulfilling the promise that winter would not be desolate.

But the reaping, while a celebration was also a lot of hard physical work.

It doesn't surprise me that we have a feast in the fall to celebrate the harvest. It is a way of giving thanks for the ability to survive through the work of our hands, our minds, and our backs. It is a celebration of the people who share in our bounty and make it possible.

It's time to return to that way of thinking.

So today, I'm thinking of my writing. I just turned in the revisions for Beyond the Shadows. I feel like a farmer waiting for that fruit to ripen before I can pick it. I see it's potential and I'm proud, but I won't begin to reap the reward of my effort until it is out there for all to see. So I have to be patient and wait.

In the mean time, I've got a new sprout to tend. We'll see how well it bears fruit.

And while I work through the lonely winter of a writer's life, my first copy of my first book sits on my desk reminding me that my efforts to this point have given me something tangible.

Here are the things I have harvested,

A sense that my effort for nine years trying to write was not wasted.
Validation that I can contribute something to the greater world.
Fan mail. :)
Resources I earned that help me do more for my writing like build my website and go to conventions.
Great joy in writing and sharing my stories with an audience who seems to enjoy them.
A feeling that I've created something special.
A new sense of community with a growing subgenre.

What about you? Even if you're a reader, or aren't yet published, what have you harvested through your love of the romance genre?

Jess

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