Winds of change.
Life is constant change, of course. Little changes. Big changes. So on and so on. Sudden changes can come like dreaded calls in the middle of the night. Others leave a warmer memory. Grasping my diploma. Receiving my first copies of The Renaissance Cycle.
But those are moments. Winds, they can blow for awhile. Sometimes it isn’t the tornado you run from that you remember, but the steady breeze at your back.
Subtle changes are often slow and evolutionary like the realization I transforming in profound ways during my years as a returning student. And sometimes, if those winds are steady enough through a particular period of time, our minds package those memories together in an annual box for easier management. Think of your senior year or that year you were pregnant. For me, 2010 will forever be the year my health train-wrecked and I bounced from one horrific drug reaction to another.
Rumors of my demise were, obviously, greatly exaggerated.
Enough of that.
Let’s raise our sails and talk writerly winds.
2000. Nice even number. Also the year I sat down and made my first serious attempt to write a fantasy novel. Serious because I finished it at a later date, but it was 2000 when I started, 2000 when I began world building, mapmaking, and writing.
While still recovering from a long illness, I revived my writing in 2011 with poetry. It’s no coincidence The Renaissance Cycle collection begins that year. It’s the year Christina, Poet was truly born even though I was dabbling in poetry as far back as high school.
2014, the year I made the difficult decision to take a step back and take the time to better learn the writing craft before attempting to publish stories. A lot of reading and studying followed along with experiments in multiple POV, Deep 3rd Voice, and story structure. It was also the year I started my website and published The Renaissance Cycle.
And now it’s the present and I’m sensing the winds of writing change again.
Are they for 2017 or 2018? Good or bad? Am I perceiving correctly or not? Not certain on any of those counts.
Are they 2017 winds? Maybe, though my improved health is likely influencing my perception. Gains? Productive editing. A novel drafted last April that went better than expected. Joining a small critique circle, the interaction there accelerating my growth as a writer. I’m also assembling a database of prospective short story publishers. I have close to 30 short stories, but only two have been read by someone else and subsequently edited.
Is this a significant year in the making or the groundwork for greater success next year? Are the gains I’m seeing from my writing group coupled with sending out short stories conspiring to stir the writing winds of change in 2018.
Writing this post has led me to an interesting conclusion.
It’s fun to think about all this, but it’s also a bit foolish to spend too much time wondering. I do it at all because I’m prone to looking for patterns. I do it with all manner of things, abstract and concrete.
So here’s the thing: All of this is hopeful conjecture, but it doesn’t happen in any year unless I do the work. Easy enough to look back and see when the winds blew and in what direction, but this is the present and waiting for the wind means you aren’t working.
It’s a funny thing about those winds. If you’re standing still they blow on past and leave you behind.