Deep winter and the practice of persistence


My husband refers to January and February as deep winter. In our neighborhood, the first day back to school after the holiday break is the unofficial end of holiday lights. We live far enough north that the sun rises an hour after I wake and sets so early I confuse 6pm with midnight. To be totally honest, it’s a time of year that used to depress me.

Until I started my writing journey in earnest four years ago.

The longer I continue on my path seeking to develop my craft and publish my stories, the more I understand and appreciate persistence. On my morning walk with our dog, I repeat the mantra “I’ll love this quiet time in June.” During cold days when I just want to cuddle up on the couch and hibernate, I remind myself to keep writing (no matter how few the words). The dark days end up becoming my most productive.

It’s tough to keep going. Bad reviews, unexpected critique, and the very lengthy process of publishing a book from the first draft through submission to appearing in stores can be defeating. I’m not alone or unique. The one commonality I’ve seen among the authors I admire is how well they adapt and persist.

Four years ago, I set up a pre-order on Amazon and had no idea what came next. Everything that has happened since has reaffirmed to me the importance of continuing to work hard and make the most of every opportunity. I’ve also come to value the quiet times. The winter months are frigid, but my office is warm, my kids are at school, and I can spend my time writing and forging ahead.

Persistence is a practice. And maybe–after a few more passes–I’ll love this current work in progress in June too.

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