Monday, June 6, 2022

Why Writers Can’t Rush Ripeness

by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @KHogrefeParnell

Here in Florida, blueberry season recently ended. However, opening week back in April was something I anticipated, because my husband and I had made plans to drive up to my parents’ place and pick at the farm down the road from them. 

Though we left opening weekend with a good haul, several rows of bushes weren’t ready yet. Their berries were green or a queasy shade of light purple. Tasting one of those berries was a recipe for puckering up!

Those unripe berries reminded me that we can’t rush ripeness—on a berry bush or in our own lives. If you’re feeling impatient today about the progress of your writing or publishing journey, be encouraged that ripeness or completion takes time. 

Thrive in Your Writing Season

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV).

Born and raised in Florida, I don’t deal with seasonal changes like many of you, but even Florida has its seasons (that sometimes change on a weekly basis): cool and comfortable, warm, hot and humid, sweltering, and even chilly at times. Though some people want to rush through our intense summers for relief in our less humid fall weather, that’s not how Florida works.

It’s all not how life works either.

But here’s the secret Floridians know. The brutally hot summer is great for water sports. Get wet, and the heat can be your friend.

The same is true for writers. When we feel as though we’re in a desert season of rejection letters or rewrites, we can “get wet” by reminding ourselves that rejection brings us one step closer to the right fit for our work and that rewrites serve to make our writing better. We can find creative ways to cope with the heat, whether it be stepping away from our desks for a favorite hobby or watching a sunset and realizing that every ending is a new beginning.

Abide in Christ

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4 NKJV).

Abide is an interesting word. The definition means “to remain, continue, stay.” When we read John 15, that idea seems comforting and reassuring. When we think about being in an unripe season of life, it’s less desirable.

But whether our writing is ripe for the picking or still an unready shade of green, our relationship with Christ should be the same: constant abiding. Are we in the Word daily, remaining instant in prayer, connected with our fellow believers, and serving in our calling? When we stay close to the Source of life, we will ultimately bear fruit in our season.

That day back in April, those blueberries that weren’t the perfect shade of deep blue still had a chance to bloom because they were connected to their bush. As long as they were (and no pesky bird knocked them to the ground), they were guaranteed to ripen in a few weeks. 

We might have to wait longer than a few weeks for our writing to ripen, but if we remain connected to our Vine, we will bear fruit pleasing to Jesus in due time.

What ripeness would you like to take place in your writing? How can you make the most of your current ripening season? 


Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes suspenseful fiction from a faith perspective for teens and adults. Her own suspense story involved waiting on God into her thirties to meet her husband, and she desires to keep embracing God’s plan for her life when it’s not what she expects. She also teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts. Her young adult dystopian novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, both won the Selah for speculative fiction, and her first romantic suspense novel with Mountain Brook Ink releases December 2022. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and are expecting their first baby in August. Connect with her at


  1. This is a good point. I "finished" writing the books I am now finishing publishing back in 2004 and it's been a long journey. They weren't ready for publishing back then and all the encouragement to rewrite has made them much better. -Donevy

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Donevy! That is such a good example of patience and perseverance yielding rewards in due season. Blessings to you!