Spring is here! Ok. Technically, it actually isn't until the 20th, but it's beginning to feel like it anyway. When I first stepped outside yesterday, I was delighted by our first real taste of spring. The thermometer bragged of temperatures in the 60's, and although we've had a mild winter, it was a treat none-the-less. In eager anticipation, I walked the premises of our property in search of snow drops, crocuses and tips of tulip leaves barely breaking the soil. By the time I completed my rounds, I caught the fever - spring fever that is.
I love spring. It's definitely one of my favorite seasons. Confession: I've never really been able to narrow it down to one, but I can say with certainty that winter is at the bottom of the list, despite the fact that even it has it's own special qualities. But what I love about spring is that it's the season of creation. Birth. New life is everywhere and it's so exciting. I can only imagine how God must have felt as He created it all in the beginning!
But for me, the best thing about spring is the way it makes me feel. Like many people, I find myself inspired by all things new. Sometimes it comes in the form of cleaning my house from top to bottom, but at other times, it plants a seed within my soul. I want to soak in all the beauty around me, but I also want to be an active part of it. I want to create. So I set aside my inhibitions and do what I love to do: I write.
That's why I'm here today. I'm partnering with mother nature and letting that seed of inspiration sprout into a blog post - my first in nine months! Say what? Yep. It's true, but even though I haven't been diligent here, doesn't mean I haven't been working on other things. Last spring, I actually outlined my first book, but then did nothing with it all summer long. In fact, I did nothing with it until my dear friend and writing partner, Betsy Henning, approached me about wanting to participate in Nanowrimo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.
For those of you who don't know, Nanowrimo is simply a project coordinated by the Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit organization with the goal of helping people (young and old) attain their writing goals. Specifically here, the goal is to write a 50,000 word book in the month of November. According to their website, "it is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. I'll say!
"Let's do it!" Betsy challenged. She spoke of it throughout the entire month of October, even going so far as to sign up for an online Nanowrimo preparation class. She meant business. She really wanted to do this thing.
"Yeah. Sure. I'll do it," I said, unenthusiastically. But when I went back to the outline I worked out the previous spring something moved me. I don't know if it was belief in my story, the fact that I knew I had something to say and needed say it, or if it was that I just needed to know if I could write a book from beginning to end.
Whatever the reason or reasons, I committed wholeheartedly. Betsy and I worked diligently all month and completed our first manuscripts slightly ahead of the allotted time. It was a victory for us both. We completed the writer's equivalent to the marathon. Of course, I know mine needs a lot of work. It accurately fits Anne Lamott's definition of a "shitty first draft," but I am comforted by the fact that according to her all good writers write them. And hey, I did it! I outlined and wrote a book and now I need to move on to the next step - revising and editing. I know I will spend many hours at it, but eventually, I hope to end up with a good second draft and maybe even a terrific third draft (that's what she says happens if you keep at it!).
So here I am, sprouting my little seed of inspiration once again and hoping that with hard work and diligence, great things will begin happening elsewhere in my writing life as well.