Planting Season

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Faith, Fear/Doubt, Friends of ACFW, Perseverance, writing 2 Comments

By Janet Morris Grimes

It’s that time of year again. Time to get our hands dirty. Time to prune old branches and brush to make room for new growth. Time to attempt to add splashes of color or garden vegetables or frame our yard with budding trees. Time to dig a hole in the ground, cultivate seeds, and come up with the best plan of action for those seeds to blossom.

An extensive amount of preparation and research has already been invested long before planting season arrived. Soil is tested and tilled into rows. Holes created and measured to allow room for roots to spread. Seeds are carefully placed at the proper depth to eventually spur growth.
Once planted, the seeds are watered. Never too much or too little. Sun is good for some, while others need shade. Protective barriers must be put in place to keep rabbits and other creatures from feasting on what is hopefully destined to become a plentiful harvest.

The funny thing is, none of us are required to participate. We don’t have to plant anything at all, and can simply enjoy the fruits of other’s labor. Gardening may not be our thing.

But even if we give a half-hearted attempt to follow a portion of these best practices, our seeds will find a way to break through if we simply take the time to plant them.

We still benefit from these truths. Reaping and sowing; soil and water. Seeds are meant to be planted. These are God-given principles of the earth. If we sow seeds in the proper soil, we’ll eventually reap a harvest.

But we’re not gardeners. We’re writers.

So what does planting season have to do with us?

We must take advantage of planting season, and the only way to do this is to plant our seeds.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn as a writer is this: talking about writing is not the same as actually doing it. I make a point to attend conferences, take exceptional notes during mind-blowing classes, network with writing friends, encourage others, and marvel about the gift of writing.

And even though these activities can cultivate my writing endeavors, they aren’t the same as writing. Until I take the time to write, I have no seeds to plant.

Somehow, I still find it easy to compare myself to other writers who may be introducing one new release or award after another.

“What’s the difference between us? Did God give them more talent and more connections than I have?” I may silently ask the universe.

Turns out the only difference may be that they’ve been planting seeds while I’ve been thinking about it.

No matter how big our dreams are, they will never come to fruition if they aren’t planted. If we don’t plant our seeds, we will never reap a harvest.

Writing is a gift, but God doesn’t hand over a fully developed novel. Instead, I believe he trusts us with the seed of an idea, and expects us to show up every day to cultivate that seed.

We are his soil. He created us from dirt, after all. And we are where he chooses to plant his seeds of creativity.

That’s quite a gift, and quite a responsibility.

No matter how big our dreams are, they will never come to fruition if they aren’t planted. #JanetMorrisGrimes #writing #ChristianFiction #ACFW Click To Tweet

As a writer, you may be coming off a long, cold, dry and brittle season. That’s okay. Winter hits us all and often takes us a while to come back to life.

This journey can be discouraging, filled with rejections, low sales, or seasons of drought.

But it’s a God-given principle that if we sow, we’ll eventually reap a harvest.

And we don’t even have to provide the seeds. God hands those over when he sees that we’re ready.

When you’re in a dry spell, waiting for a response from an editor or agent, keep planting. With every rejection, plant something else. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep networking, trying new topics, and spreading those roots.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 backs up this principle. “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” (NIV)

Doesn’t this describe our journey as writers perfectly?

The path will be filled with ‘no’s, but it only takes one yes to change everything. And if we keep planting, our seeds will eventually find the proper soil to break through.

Galations 6:9 – Let us not grow weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (NIV)


Janet Morris Grimes may not have realized she was a writer at the time, but her earliest childhood memories were spent creating fairy-tale stories of the father she never knew. That desire to connect with the mysterious man in a treasured photograph gave her a deep love for the endless possibilities of a healing and everlasting story.

Comments 2

  1. The point of your article is right on target. My mentor, way back when I first took a novel-writing course, told me, “The best way to become a writer is to write.” Such a simple, obvious statement. So I paused in attending conferences and taking courses and started writing. Months later, I sent her my first try at a western novel of 45,000 words. She promptly cut one half of it and sent it back to me with the comment, “Good start. Now write more, learn from this, and keep writing.” I still want to attend conferences and participate in the writing community but it was an important message. So, I’m working on the 4th book in my Christian Suspense Home Team series, and now, I need to get back to writing. Maybe I’ll join some writing community activities when I get book #4 done. But then there’s book #5… anyhoo, thanks for planting an important seed for me. I love these messages from other writers!

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