Friday, February 28, 2014

Hope SPRINGS eternal! Keep hoping!

By Niki Turner

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rest and expatiates in a life to come."
~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

I can finally see my driveway, and the track of muddy paw prints inside my door testifies to the promised arrival of spring. Eventually.

I know we'll see more storms, and more snow on the ground, off and on, for at least two more months, maybe three. It's easy to feel discouraged and despondent when one of Colorado's spring storms blows in and dumps six or eight inches of snow on ground you'd just rejoiced at seeing again after the long, dark months of winter.

So I cling to those little signs, and the fact it's still light outside at six o'clock in the evening, and the birds I heard chirping overhead when I went out to feed the chickens this morning, as confirmation that spring is on its way.

Healing—physical, emotional, spiritual, relational—is a similar process. There are good days and bad days, and the bad days are especially discouraging after a spate of good ones. However, as my dear husband keeps telling me, every tiny hint of progress, of improvement, is a sign, a promise, evidence, that things are eventually going to be better than before.

That's the nature of faith, according to the author of the book of Hebrews.

NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. 
Heb 11:1 AMP

The writer's journey is one of faith, too.

There are bright, sunshiny days when you reach your word count, find just the right turn of phrase, and come up with the perfect plot twist. And there are stormy days when your own writing makes you want to gag, when you realize your story doesn't just have a sagging middle, it has total plot prolapse, or you get yet another rejection letter for that novel you've been carrying in your heart longer than an elephantine gestation.

But just as we don't give up on spring's eventual arrival during a March snowstorm, and we don't give up on healing and recovery in our bodies when symptoms rear up again, we can't give up on writing when we experience "dry spells" or setbacks, or disappointments. In truth, there's probably never been a better time in history to be a writer. 

Originally posted at


  1. I've heard that phrase recently. I want to believe it's true. No better time to be a writer. Certainly plenty of opportunity! and plenty of changes... just thinking about the differences since we started the blog!

    We had our 'feels like spring' moment last weekend, which always makes it tougher when the forecast goes back to this frigid stuff we have now. Spring is coming though... the birdies say so.
    Stay warm!

    1. I know... when we started the idea of self-publishing was still very taboo. And now some of the biggest names are doing it.

      Ugh. We're headed into another weekend storm here, but I saw a robin today!

  2. I'm hanging on for spring too. But first bracing for this next round of snow/ice. Blech! But there is something to be said for the cold and the snow. As difficult as the winter season can be, it is a time to rest and gather strength to play in the sun. We can cozy up and reflect, learn, grow and find the warmth of the son.

    1. So true, Lisa, and an excellent idea... why don't we plan for winter the way we plan for summer? I've already got a list of things to do, places to go, etc. for the summer, but I just squeeze my eyes shut and grit my teeth and stoically try to endure winter, instead of planning ahead for that renewal and reflection season. Hmmm... Remind me of this come next fall, OK?

  3. This is great, Niki. I've been thinking on this throughout the day. (I tried to comment this morning, but blogger was a bear.) My creative well is pretty dry right now, and the sunshine today has really made me feel better. I totally need sunshine. It doesn't help that I don't have a window in my office at work. But this week, the sun has been coming up on my way to work, and it's been out when I've been on my way home. It's really done wonders for my spirit, and after this evening, I felt the glimmers of a creative brainstorm! Finally!

    1. Suzie, the older I get the more convinced I become that sunshine is essential to health and well-being. We had two days of sunshine this week and it transformed my perspective on life!

  4. Such an encouraging post. Thanks, Niki. These seasons of creativity and dryness are just that--seasons. Sometimes I forget that, and it feels like I'm in a slump forever.

    1. Yes, exactly, Susie! If I ever decide I need a tattoo I'm getting "this too shall pass" somewhere I can see it all the time as a reminder to be grateful when it's all smooth sailing and patient in the doldrums.

  5. Thanks, Niki. I really like this post.

    However, I must say that spring looks a long way off our Saskatchewan temp sitting at -54 F with the windchill this morning. blech.


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