by Barbara Fleming
'Tis the season...of hope. Writers live on hope. It is hope that keeps us sitting at the keyboard, that nudges us to try one more agent, one more publisher, that lets us keep on writing. We dream of the best seller lists, but we settle for hoping that someone will like our work enough to publish it. "Hope is the thing with feathers," said Emily Dickinson, "that perches on the soul." Perhaps we replenish that hope each year at holiday time.
'Tis the season...of love. Writers bask in the love of friends and family as do others and yet thrive on a different kind of love, love of the language. We love words. We love to intertwine them in phrases and sentences, to search for exactly the right word, to discover new words. We love working with a language so rich with choices. Perhaps we renew that love each year in the season of love.
'Tis the season...of giving. We writers give of ourselves every time we compose a paragraph, a chapter, a book, or whatever we are writing. We invest our whole souls in our chosen work, and we offer it the reader with a full heart. Perhaps we reinforce our ways of giving each year in the season of giving.
And 'tis the season...of traditions. Like everyone else, writers have cherished rituals and traditions connected to the holidays, some of which may find their way into written work. Most of us also have traditions connected to how and what we write, and why, as well--traditions that outlast the holidays. Perhaps we rely on them to ground us at this time of the year.
Whatever your faith, whatever your traditions, this is a meaningful time of year in which to take stock, to enjoy being with those we love, and to call up the memories that the holidays evoke. Let this be a year in which more warm memories are made.