By Ronda Simmons
It’s autumn when we witness the return of Ugg boots, infinity scarves, and pumpkin spice lattes. There is something about the change of seasons, especially when summer gives way to fall, which gives my writing a kick-start.
In the summer, it’s easy to justify not writing. It’s too hot, too humid, and too vacation-y. Fall marks the beginning of the school year (even though I graduated decades ago) and suddenly it’s not such a chore to sit and work.
But first, a PSL.
We change as writers.
Our writing lives go through seasons as well. In the spring of my writing career, I was as tempestuous as an April storm. Just as a rainy day could quickly turn to a balmy one when the sun came out, so could a lousy writing day turn into a good one with encouraging words from a writing friend.
I’m not sure what season I’m in now, but I do know that writing is much different for me than it was back in those days. I’ve written a lot of words. Some of them even passable, and I’ve learned and grown as a writer. I have more discipline. I have more patience. I am more focused.
I’ve learned that I can’t force myself to be a more literary writer, as one of my best writing pals is. She can sit down and bang out 5000 words of gorgeous prose. I can’t, and I’ve come to the realization that I’m more of a Hemingway, she’s a Faulkner.
Sometimes you’ve got to say goodbye.
Do we call this Finter?
I recently made the decision to leave the critique group that I have been a part of for over 4 years. I’ve changed, my writing has changed, and I’m no longer a good fit for the others. I cannot give them the time they deserve, and my writing has shifted to a different space. One where they aren't interested in going.
It was hard to let go because without them, I wouldn’t be a writer today, but it had to be done. It doesn’t mean I had to like it.
I care about the people in that group. They have evolved into a family of sorts, and I love the work they are doing. I’m as excited for their successes as I am for my own. My moving on will not change that.
Sometimes the hardest choices are the best choices, even in writing.
In the end, it came down to a business decision. I’ve only got so many hours in a week to devote to the craft. I’ve got a new writing partner. It’s a better fit for the season I am in.
If you find yourself in a similar position, know that it’s OK to make a change. Sometimes, change is good.
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