I’ve been thinking about—and blogging about—change for the past several weeks. And outside my front door, the world has been changing right along with me, because fall is a season of change.

The leaves change colors, then drift to the ground. The air gets crisp and frost paints the blades of grass. It’s time to winterize the sprinkler system. Prune back the garden beds. Wrap up the harvest and stock the freezer. It’s nature’s way of preparing for the next season—winter.

While spring’s new growth and hope are probably my favorite, I’m learning to appreciate and enjoy all of the seasons. But while the world outside is wrapping up the growing season of summer and transitioning to the resting season of winter, I’m finding myself doing the same inside.

Summer was indeed a time of growth. I published The Author Toolbox, taught a course to a large group of authors, redesigned my website, and finished rewrites on the conclusion of The Wardrobe series. That’s a lot of progress and I’ve been thrilled about each accomplishment.

But as the temperatures—and leaves—have fallen, I’m discovering a new season with my writing. A season of maintenance rather than growth. A season of deep roots and invisible preparation. A season of rest before next year.

One of my goals during this season is to grow as a writer. I’ve got a stack of writing craft books to read and re-read, so I’m setting aside time to simply read and absorb information. I’m also taking a couple of classes that will help hone and fine-tune my writing. It’s the perfect time to curl up in a chair to read, knowing that I’m actually doing necessary work to make the next book even better while being able to write it faster.

Another goal during this season resembles the garden bed cleaning outside. There are bits and pieces of scattered notes to myself cluttering my desk. Quotes to add to my Twitter feed’s jukebox. Small changes to content on my website. Adjustments to the digital files of my existing self-published books. Articles and posts I saved on Facebook for “someday” when I had time to read them. I’m using this season to catch-up on all those nagging little tasks and have a clean slate prepared for when the next season rolls around.

Just like trees in winter take the time to soak up nutrition through their deep roots and simply rest during the cold months, I’m also laying a foundation of preparation for the spring. With at least two books coming out in 2018, I’ve got a lot of planning and groundwork to put in place in order to support those stories and successfully launch them. Readers won’t see a lot happening between now and the end of the year, but I’ll be planning my production calendar and making progress on launch plans just the same.

Last, this is a season for brainstorming and researching a new series revolving around castles. While I’m planning to write contemporary romance long-term, I have a semi-crazy idea that includes snippets from additional stories set in historical time-periods. And these additional stories will also need to be written and woven into the primary plot. All of these moving pieces have me equally excited and overwhelmed! So, I’m taking time during this season of preparation, to do enough reading and research in the historical genres to make those novellas quality stories in their own right. (Not to mention, researching and dreaming about various castles is going to be tons of fun!)

This is a season of change. There won’t be many visible results but a lot is happening behind the scenes.

What about you? What is your favorite season of the year? What are your plans for this last quarter of the year? Is it a season of personal growth or a season of reflection?

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