By Chandra Lynn Smith
Early morning is quiet these days.
The summer songbirds have already moved out. The gaggle of Canada Goose that spent the summer raising young and lazing on my pond have left. The robins, whose arrival indicates spring, are gathering in my yard now for their southern flight. All of wildlife is storing food for the winter, preparing to migrate or already traveling. The nightly chorus from the cicadas ended a few weeks ago. The bullfrogs and tree frogs are mostly silent. Even the cricket chirping has dwindled to a slight buzz. And the snowbirds, nuthatches, chickadees, thrushes, woodpeckers must be lingering wherever they spent their summer, for they are not here yet. It’s the quiet in-between season here in Pennsylvania.
Maybe that’s where you find yourself with your writing. The whirlwind of preparations for contests that filled your spring ended weeks ago. The manuscript is finished. Or not. The conference is over and requested materials have been sent. Or not. Suddenly you are caught in the season of in-between.
It’s quiet here. The characters in your head that usually vie for a voice are silent, as if they went on vacation. The thoughts, plots, and ideas stopped. You turn on your computer and stare at the screen, its blank white page mocking you. In this season, the silence is deafening. But don’t let it make you stumble or fall.
Maybe God designs this in-between time for you to focus on Him, His stories, His grace in your life. In Mark 6:31, the crowds were great, and the disciples were being pressed on every side. They had no time even to eat. Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.”
What a wonderful image. Maybe Jesus is calling you to step outside during this quiet time and listen to Him. Maybe He wants to minister to your heart and soul and prepare it for the next season. Instead of doubts and rash decisions to stop writing because your inspiration is dried up, try resting and listening. It’s possible the quiet in-between is the greatest blessing of all.
In the next few weeks, the leaves will change to brilliant colors as the Master speaks “Turn.” Birds will complete their migration when He whispers “Fly.” Fall arrives and the Master Designer creates a painting more beautiful than you could ask or imagine.
Then, when you least expect it, he touches your soul, and your heart hears the long awaited words, “Write with Me.”
Chandra Smith has been a member of ACFW since 2006. She is a 2016 Genesis Semi-Finalist, 2015 Genesis Winner, 2013 and 2014 Genesis semi-finalist, and a 2014 bronze medalist in the MBT Frasier contest. Chandra is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and owns Best Friend Dog Training. She writes the column Letters From the Dog House for The Evening Sun. She lives on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania with her husband and four dogs. She and her husband are the proud parents of four sons and joyous grandparents of the most beautiful granddaughter. Chandra writes romantic suspense and contemporary fiction. Her stories are filled with inspiration, intrigue, romance and lovable canine characters.