Summertime in the country

When Seasons Affect Our Writing Goals

Cynthia Herron Writing 4 Comments

Summer used to be my most productive season.

I’d make a list of goals, hunker down for the duration, and set about my task.

With a few exceptions, I’d accomplish nearly everything on my list. Well—not so this summer.

This summer has been a busy season. It’s been a poignant time marked with highs and lows. The highs came with a wonderful reunion and some nice career affirmations, and the lows came with a loved one’s sudden passing and other unexpected events.

Instead of making projected word counts and gaining traction with specific projects, certain things were shifted to the back burner as I prioritized what mattered most.

Life is like that sometimes. Sometimes, we have to decide what to do and what to let go.

I’m not Wonder Woman and I don’t pretend to be. Maybe some folks can do all, be all, and have all while plowing forward like a freight train. Good for them! (I’m just not one of them. I know and understand my limitations. My exhaustion level maxed out a few weeks ago, which I talked about here.)

As a writer, I’ve come to understand there will always be seasons like this. Calendar seasons and life seasons. Seasons where we must accept the temporary shift and realize such things come with the territory, and seasons that we know will be longer stints in the valley—though we may kick and scream about the unfairness of it.

Bottom line: we can let the unpredicted stymie us and hold our mindset hostage, OR  we can dig in our heels, jut out our chin, and decide a plan of action.

Since I tend to be a go-for-broke kind of gal, I’m more of a grin-and-bear-it, but let’s get ‘er done person. In other words, while I may not like the Reality Sandwich that life offers during a particular season, sometimes if I add mayo and a fat, juicy pickle (along with a big mug of coffee and a HUGE piece of chocolate) that’s just the motivation I need to tackle the difficult stuff again.

I’ve found for every bitter pill I’m forced to swallow, a small reward may be just what the doctor ordered to prod me along. (Self-comparisons don’t work. Those are a trap. Don’t do it!)

Encouragement for writers is huge. Huge. It’s something that works for us.

That encouragement to stay the course, despite seasonal obstacles might come in the way of:

  • An encouraging phone call
  • A handwritten note
  • A verbal “I believe in you. You can do it!” (Positives motivate.)
  • A commitment to pray
  • A hug
  • A box of truffles (Now you’re talkin’!)
  • A small writing-related item
  • A shared adventure
  • An inexpensive lunch
  • A book (Yes!)

I’m sure you can think of others. The point is when seasons affect our writing goals or output, we shouldn’t let those life-points paralyze us or color our self-worth.

Yes, we may be derailed for a time, but one day it will be our season again. Perhaps, our brightest one yet!

It’ll be beautiful and have our badge of courage stamped all over it.


Goals achieved!


Additional thoughts to encourage you:

 When the Season Seems Long

Waiting, Writing, and Why You Must Not Quit

How to Thrive Despite the Odds

Dabblers Write. Writers Persevere.



Have unforeseen circumstances hindered your writing? Relax! You’re not alone!

(Click to Tweet)

The “unmentionable” writers don’t like to talk about.

(Click to Tweet)

Sometimes, our writing’s a monsoon. Other times, a dust bowl. Encouragement here:

(Click to Tweet)

What season are you in?

What tips work for you when circumstances hamper your goals?

Rejoicing with you as we persevere together!

Blessings Always,

Comments 4

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Yes. A horrible laptop keyboard that often won’t recognize the spacebar.

    It sounds stupid, but until I found an affordable external keyboard…I really didn’t want to write. It’s hard for me to ‘just leave it’ whenwords run together, and itwaslike trying to walk througha field of brambles.


    Now I have a new keyboard, so I ned anothr xcuse.

    Hmmm…is the nw kyboard not giving me consistnt “e’s”..?

  2. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Andrew, funny how those seemingly “little things” can dampen our zest for our craft. I think every creative would identify. What’s “little” by one person’s definition can be huge by someone else’s. (Totally understand!)

    And about those excuses… Contrived—or not? (Methinks you should get busy!) Here’s to a productive day—> *clink*

  3. Shelli Littleton

    I’ve been editing. Summer is a good time for me to work because I’m not teaching the girls. Though, they are fairly independent in some of their studies now. However, they are a little noisier now! I’m always sad to see summer depart … my somewhat free days … but then pumpkins always cheer me!

  4. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Shelli, we have one out (our educator) and one still at home enjoying those dwindling carefree years. If you were closer, I’d spirit you away for a “moms day out.” First, we’d eat something really fattening. Then we’d do hair. Nails. Shopping. Then dish—about the Bible and life and writing and all things important. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *