For most of the past five years we have been in a drought. Water conservation was championed twenty-four hours a day for months. Lakes were at all time lows and the drought made headlines all around the country.
Boy, what a difference a year can make!
This state has had more water in the past year than in three previous years put together and then doubled. Last September we had major floods across the wide Metro Atlanta area. The experts have said we had a 500 year flood. Who the heck plans for a 500 year flood? Far as I know, there wasn't anyone around here five hundred years ago except the Cherokee Indians and they didn't write anything down about a flood!
Rain, to me, is like writing. Some days it comes in a fine mist, covering everything but not leaving any concrete imprint. Other days, it comes in a flood, flowing faster than man can contain and control. While every writer hopes to live in a flood, far too often the floods are few and the mist is prevalent. Which is better?
I find when I have a flood of words flowing, the page count increases, but upon review the story sometimes has taken a bend I did not see coming. On those days it feels the inmates are running the asylum inside my head.
Ah, but in the mist I get so much more accomplished! That is where the polishing and refining seems to spring from. In the mist I can see the characters and their demands to be heard, but I can slow down the input, making better use of my time. A flood is always going to come. Whether it is a 500 year flood or a 10 year flood depends on how much I have cleaned out during the mist.
A writer always has to write, it is a part of our souls. But a smart writer knows the drought can be just around the corner. What happens to a writer who has lost his ability to see the stories in their head? How long can you reside in the drought waiting for a new flood to appear?
If you love writing, the droughts come. But how you respond can be a very individual thing. The important thing is to remember, no matter how long the drought lasts, no matter how low the lake level gets - a new flood is always around the corner. We just have to be patient and trust God.
THAT is the hard part!