Weekend Edition – The Writing Season plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

Welcome to this Saturday Edition in which I share a little of what I’m up to with my writing (when I’m not here) and what I’m reading (between the covers and around the web). I’ll also pull back the curtain a little on my version of the writing life (but not so much as to be indecent).

I hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own thoughts, posts, and picks in the comments. I LOVE hearing from you and seeing the world from your perspective.

Happy writing! Happy reading! 



To Everything There is a Season … Even Writing

ice octopus

Evidence of the Endless Winter

Winter is hanging on like a fierce beast facing its final extinction. New Englanders though we may be, our patience is being tried. There are only so many times you can wake up to single-digit (or below zero) temps and maintain your sense of humor. My favorite tweet of the week came from my friend and fellow writer, Tracy Mayor:

TracyM Tweet

Yep … this is what it’s come to around here.

What makes the situation particularly frustrating is that there isn’t a thing you can do to change it. Weather is weather and winter is winter and you just have to deal with it. You can’t force winter to end. You can’t bribe spring to arrive early. You simply have to live through the season and make the best of it.

Writing is like that.

In my life, I have experienced many seasons of writing – sometimes I experience multiple writing seasons in a single day. There are seasons of planting ideas and seasons of harvesting them. There are seasons of cultivation and nurturing and seasons of surrendering to the quiet reflection of fallow fields. The wise writer works with the seasons, not against them.

Though the demands of my projects don’t always allow for the luxury of crafting my days around the seasonal shifts of my inner writing world, I always try to remain observant of the changes so that – when possible – I can align my writing tasks with the natural flow, whatever that may be at the moment. There are few things more painful than having to force the words when you should instead be letting ideas percolate. And vice versa.

Just like the seasons in the real world, the writer’s seasons are best appreciated when they are accepted for their own charms. This isn’t always easy, but it is always the best course of action. It’s never a good idea to argue with Mother Nature.

What I’m Writing:

morning pgsMy client workload has kept me from doing much in the way of personal projects, but I always find time for my journaling.

I recently missed a few days (ok, maybe weeks) of doing my morning pages. Though I survived, I had a persistent feeling of having forgotten to do something – like when you pull out of the drive and wonder if you left the stove on or forgot to lock the door. Missing my morning pages didn’t keep me from functioning like a (mostly) normal person. It did, however, mean that I entered my day with a head full of distracting whispers and mumbles. Taking twenty minutes in the morning to capture and release my random thoughts clears my head. It lets me shake off the inessential so that I can focus on what’s important. Without this sunrise purge, I felt slightly muddled and weighted down by unseen worries.

Happily, I’m back on track with my morning pages.

What I’m Reading:

Affiliate Link

While I continue to nibble away at some longer novels, I had very little time for pleasure reading this week.

To keep from feeling completely deprived, I picked up a book of poetry.

I am a poetry idiot. If you asked me to name my favorite poets I’d say Robert Frost and Shel Silverstein (mostly because they are the only two poets I can name on cue). Clearly, I am not a connoisseur. After the requisite encounters during my high school lit classes, I rediscovered poetry when I was a new mom with an infant who hardly ever slept. I had little to no chance of finding time to read an actual novel. Even if I had somehow conjured the time, I doubt my sleep deprived brain could have comprehended something as involved as a novel.

Instead, I picked up an old poetry anthology that was sitting on my shelf. Poetry turned out to be the perfect balm for my reading ache. The pieces were short enough that I could sneak them in at odd moments, and the dreamlike imagery and was perfect for my state of mind.

This week, I came across a title called God Got a Dog (affliate link) – a slim volume of poems written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Marla Frazee. I am a big fan of Rylant’s work and have often found comfort in her various children’s books. This book is no exception, offering up a quirky series of poetic portraits that show God doing his (or her) thing in various everyday situations. If you need a little something to make you feel better about the world in general, this book might be just the thing.

And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:

Finally, a quote for the week:

Or, rather, an image. I thought this was a perfect picture to help us appreciate the last few days of winter while casting a hopeful eye towards the coming season of spring.

pin snowy bear

Thanks, as always, for sharing part of your weekend with me. Here’s to writing in any season and always enjoying the journey – in sun, wind, rain, or snow. 

Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of the equestrian arts, voice, and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.

Image from my Pinterest board, but originally sourced here from sarolta ban.

16 thoughts on “Weekend Edition – The Writing Season plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

  1. Great post! Lots of inspiring links to check as well, thank you. I’m glad that you’re back on track with your morning pages. I’m a slow reader this past month, still slowly going through the same two different books (Star Wars novel and The Power of Now). Writing was more productive this week as I finished the final chapter of my upcoming book. It’s not off to beta, and I only have 6,500 words left to write out of the 80,000. I just didn’t start them yet, the intro and afterword. I’m taking a couple of days of break from the project to catch up with TV and relaxing. Have a good weekend!

    • Thanks, Natacha.
      I hope you managed to enjoy some R&R and TV. Trying to fit some of that in myself – a little reading, a little watching, a little hanging with family. 🙂

  2. What a great way to start my weekend. I hear you about the never ending winter. My friends and I are blaming everything on the Polar Vortex (kind of like El Nino from years past). I don’t think I will be able to melt the 2 inch chunk of ice on my side walkway until temps go into the double digits and stay there for a few days. But like you, I am trying to be positive. Great reminder about seasons and it’d relevance to writing. I formed a mini book club with my friend and we are reading Anna Karenina and hope to have it finished by Spring. I am giving a blog update on my progress once a week. I have 2 other books that I am reading on the side as well. Thanks again for the great blog articles you shared. Many have gone into the bookmarked section. I am excited to try Hemingway, Ant-Social and Write or Die. Have a great weekend!

    • Hi, Amy! 🙂
      I love it. Let’s definitely blame the Polar Vortex. Sounds as good an option as any!

      What a great idea – a “mini book club.” And hey – Anna Karenina is no slouch of a book choice! I hope you’re enjoying it.

      Enjoy the apps. I gave the Hemingway app a try and got a Grade 14 rating. Not sure if that’s good or bad. 😉

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend & “see” you again soon!

  3. Hi Jamie; Your posts are always filled with treasures. Self editing (when will I ever beat down my passive scardy-cat voice?). Tools (Hemingway grades me at 4, so I have simple down lol). Boiling the frog (Where’s the app to grade increasingly difficult choices). Have a wonderful weekend, Silent

    • Thanks so much, Silent. It’s always my pleasure to see you here.

      I loved the “Boiling the Frog” piece, too. I find I learn so much more easily when I can look at examples, and that post did a great job of illustrating its point.

      Hope you’re having a great weekend.
      Here’s to a great week ahead with plenty of reading and writing!

  4. Pingback: Sunday TV Reviews and Writing Links | Natacha Guyot

  5. “You can’t force winter to end. You can’t bribe spring to arrive early. You simply have to live through the season and make the best of it.

    Writing is like that.”

    Just what I needed. Thanks as always. 🙂

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