Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Time to Rediscover Our Voices - Harris

July can be quiet for Canadian writers. Editors, publishers and people we want to interview are often away. We have no choice: We must enjoy the sunshine. Listen to the birds. Walk in the meadows.

Those of us who write books may love this uninterrupted time to write proposals, research projects, and design plots. Fewer deadlines give us extra time to renew that creative spark. That helps breathe new life into projects that grew stale under a pile of winter deadlines.

During summer, we don't cling so tightly to our desks.

When it's hot, I spend at least one day a week working in an air conditioned library or achives. Sometimes, I find a sunny window beside a rock garden and dream up queries for magazines. Sometimes, I edit a summer assignment.

Summer is a good time to research history books. Last week, I sipped coffee in the library cafe while I read 19th century newspaper headlines about the District of Alberta's war footing during the Riel Rebellion. Other headlines shouted the nation's response to the death of Sir John A. Macdonald. A local reporter proclaimed the work of Father Lacombe at Macleod.

Summer lets us escape our routines. Time spent hiking mountain trails, visiting family, travelling to historic sites, or even pulling weeds in the garden often brings fresh ideas. As we think, pray and listen, we may suddenly be inspired to pursue new projects.

We may also realize that some projects we have been pursuing aren't in His plan. Realizing you must revise or change course can be unsettling. Change is risky. It usually means starting from scratch on something we're not sure we can do. But without it, our work grows stale and worthless.

So, don't be surprised if you find yourself moving in a new direction after your summer break. Don't fret about it, either.

God is better at managing careers than we are.

And that's the exciting part.

Jane Harris Zsovan writes in both mainstream in Canadian publications about faith, business, arts, and contemporary Canada. She is the author of Stars Appearing: The Galts' Vision of Canada

She contributed "Jessie's Generation: Canada's Firebrands of Mercy and Justice" to Hot Apple Cider: Stories to Warm the Heart and Stir the Soul

She writes Vision of Canada Blog, on contemporary and historical Canada.

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