Friday, March 22, 2013

Life Lessons—Trust the Seasons

by Reba J. Hoffman Ph.D

Right now in Florida, springtime is in full bloom. The live oaks have long since shed their winter leaves and have sprouted lime green new growth. The azaleas are fully blossoming. And yes, even the St. Augustine grass is cracking through its dismal brown protective winter sheath.

It’s clockwork. I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t have to wonder if it’s going to happen. It WILL happen this time every year. And, in a couple of months, the daily humid thunderstorms will darken the sky to the west every afternoon.

Just as assuredly as this happens in the atmosphere, so will the seasons of a writer. There are times of heated keystroking as you pound out hot plots. There will also be times when seemingly nothing is happening at all. The seeds are germinating in the soil of your soul.

Writers are wired this way. Why? Well, to keep the dream alive. Imagine what it would be like if roses bloomed all year long. The winter snow would be so harsh, they would lose their beauty. The roses would simply have to work too hard to maintain their fragrance and would eventually just give up and die.

So it is with you, my word-wielding friend. Writing isn’t always hammering out word count. Just as often, it’s quietly pondering your story. Many times it’s going for ice cream or picking up another book. And yes, it could also mean abandoning your prose for a while, letting it lie dormant.

Oh, don’t worry. Remember the seasons. It will sprout again, as long as you let the seasons take their natural course. Whatever the seasons are for you as a writer, accept them. Trust them. Embrace them and use them to get the most out of life and your writing gifts.

Your work will be fresh, alive and vibrant. Let it happen. Your readers will be glad you did.

What season are you in right now? How are you handling it? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching ( She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.


  1. We've had spam problems, too, on both of our blogs. REBA, I do think writing comes in seasons or spurts. For those of us with children, summertime is for research and percolating ideas and a pulling back from story world. And every school holiday week, too! I can relate to what you were saying about times when it literally feels like your fingers are hammering out the work! Hopefully my next two months will be like that! Blessings!

    1. Whatever you do Carrie, just relax and settle into it... whatever the season. It's amazing, isn't? And, it sure takes the pressure off. Thanks for reading and commenting. I'll be praying for you as you go through this season!

  2. I'm going back to my first love of devotional writing after spending some time in novel land. It's like waking up to tulips in the garden after a long time of wondering if the bulbs in the ground would react to springtime's call. I'm not leaving novel land just tending a different area of the garden right now. My garden feels like a secret garden that no one knows about at times but its time will come.

    1. Lisa doing something you love and that brings you joy will actually fertilize the seeds of fiction you have sown. And, once a novelist... well, it doesn't mean you can't write other things! haha

  3. Reba, You inspire people whether they write or not. I am a Southwest Florida native and have been told we do not experience season changes in Florida, but we know differently. I love Lisa's reference to writing as her secret garden. You all inspire this wanna be, wired, word-wielding wonder. Love the photos too Love you all.

  4. Reba, I always wonder if I'll stop being surprised by how God answers. I've been piddling with a writing project that is going nowhere. I've wondered if I should step away for a little while, but then I tell myself I'm procrastinating and being lazy. Still, the inkling to step away has been with me for a while.

    I've been cleaning out my inbox most of the evening. I read a guest post on Jeff Goins blog that said sometimes we need to step away. I posted it on my FB fan page just before coming over here where you're saying the same thing.

    I hear music from the Twilight Zone. :)

    Thanks for being part of a clear answer. Funny thing is, I started backing away last week when I returned to a business I started more than 10 years ago. It'll be a nice and much-needed break, and I can take it comfortably now that I've gotten confirmation.