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Tips for Surviving the 6 Seasons of a Writer’s Life

If you’ve been in the industry long enough then you probably know by now that the writer’s life is unpredictable, and your path will never look identical to that of another writer’s.


Writing is like no other profession. There doesn’t seem to be a typical day’s work because our daily work shifts as the seasons change.


Although there are surprises—both good and bad—along the path to publication, the writer’s life can be categorized into 6 seasons…


  1. Writing Season. 


Tips for survival:


Stock up on writing fuel! This may include chocolate, herbal tea, sunflower seeds, trail mix, coffee, etc. Also, when you’re deep into writing, it can often become easy to ignore the outside world. Yet if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle then it’s important to stay balanced. Prioritize your responsibilities. Join a writer’s group for feedback and fellowship. Keep God and family first. Make time for socialization and relaxation. Most importantly, seek God before every writing session and watch to see how the Holy Spirit helps you churn out those words.


  1. Submission Season.


Tips for survival:


Prepare yourself for rejection. Keep a strong backbone for criticism, and allow the criticism to make you into a better writer. Seek support from friends and family members when you start to have writing doubts and are tempted to give up. Write down your writing career vision and greatest dream on a post-it note and stick it on your desk. Keep a running list of encouragement you receive on your writing, whether it’s from those you love, members of your writer’s group, or a writing professional. Take this list out every time you feel beaten down by rejections and critiques.


  1. Waiting Season.


Tips for survival:


Prayer! Waiting seasons are the best opportunity to seek God’s will for your writing career, to ask Him to open the doors that need to be open and close the doors that need to be closed. Only He knows the paths you should take. Pray that others will be touched by your words and that you’ll have the patience to wait on His timing. Trust that He’s in control of your writing dream. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to start working on your next project!


  1. Celebration Season.


Tips for survival:


Of course, it’s not difficult to survive during a time of celebration! 😉 This is the high point of the writing career—when you receive a contract from an agent or publisher. Take advantage of it! When you reach this season, reward yourself for your hard work. You deserve it! Go to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Take time to relax and watch your favorite movie. Meanwhile, keep a good head on your shoulders by staying humble. Make sure God receives the glory He deserves for opening this door. Involve Him in on the process; He wants to celebrate with you, too!


  1. Editing Season.


Tips for survival:


It can be tough to overhaul your manuscript to meet the needs of an agent or publisher. However, it’s important to remember that they’re the professionals in this industry. They ultimately know what sells. During this editing process, keep the big picture in mind: Your book isn’t getting ruined during surgery; instead, it’s getting better and stronger. It’ll improve. During this process, detach your heart from the project—as hard as it might be—and try to view it under a critical eye. Sure, it might seem a bit messy during the surgery. But what surgery isn’t messy? It may seem like it’s been ripped to shreds, but rest assured, it will be put back together again. The end result will be worth the pain and torture, and ultimately the manuscript will look much better than it did before the procedure.


  1. Promotion Season.


Tips for survival: 


Keep a good head on your shoulders during the promotion. For many introverts, it might be hard to promote yourself. But keep in mind that it’s vital if you want to make a living from writing and if you want the book to sell. Remember: You aren’t promoting yourself; you’re promoting your product and the message you stand for. What is it that you stand for? How can you get others involved to help you share this same message? God gave you this message for a reason, and it can’t get into the hands of other people unless you promote! Yet promotion can often become draining, especially for us introverts. Make sure to carve out time to feed your creativity as well—whether that comes through brainstorming your next book, reading, working on a craft, going to an art museum, etc.


  1. Repeat!


Tips for survival: 


There is no destination in the writing journey. It’s a cycle of the above steps—so once you receive your dream-come-true, it’ll be time to dream another dream and create another goal (for example: “hit the best-seller list”) and so on.


The journey is exciting, though, don’t you think? The anticipation, the development of original idea to final product and then the dream-come-true stages that evolve. Even the difficult seasons—such as rejection and waiting—are worth it, because it’s through this process that we become pruned and prepared for what awaits us on the horizon.


Yet it’s during those peak moments of the writers’ life that makes all of those rough seasons worth it in the end.


Tips for Surviving the 6 Seasons of a Writer's Life #writerslife #amwriting @TessaEmilyHall Click To Tweet


What’s your favorite season of the writer’s life? What season are you currently in? What tips would you like to add?

About Tessa Emily Hall - Dear Young Scribes

Tessa Emily Hall - Dear Young Scribes
Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show others they’re not alone—and because she remembers the teen life like it was yesterday (or a few years ago). The debut novel she wrote at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second YA novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, released with Clean Reads November 2016. She’s the Founder of PursueMagazine.net, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. Tessa also enjoys helping writers achieve their dreams through her role as a Jr. Agent at Hartline Literary Agency.When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.

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One comment

  1. This was a wonderful post, Tessa! I loved reading your tips. I’m currently in the Writing Season – but I can feel the coming of Submission season in the air 😉 . I hope it will be soon!

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