Monday, September 16, 2013

September: Change is in the Air

September can be an unpredictable month in Montana. Some years it cools down to temperatures more to my liking, other years we have been hit with an unwelcome warm spell, and one year I had the pleasure of waking up to three feet of snow on a late September morning. This is also the final month of the gardens in bloom, though at the moment they are still quite full and beautiful.

Have you ever seen the Secret Garden? Do you remember how the garden looked in the winter? More often than not, that's how ours looks in winter, sans the beautiful stone walls. Sometimes I'll get lucky and the roses will hang on until the frost, and of course my lavender and heather plants are hardy and will give me color through the long cold months (assuming they aren't buried under too much snow). I always anticipate the coming of winter and changing seasons, but September is a beloved month because it gives me precious extra time to enjoy the beauty and labors of the summer season.  

The bees are certainly enjoying the warm September weather. 

September also seems to be the month when change happens in my life. I couldn't say why, but it's the time of year when I tend to make many of my big choices; whether to move, go on holiday, or make a change with business. My greatest holidays, including my last trip to Scotland, took place in September. Perhaps I sense change coming in the seasons and weather, and therefore feel the need to embrace change and adventure during this time. 

It's also my favorite time of year to go hiking. The summer is certainly beautiful, but at times far too hot. September is a wonderful time for me to catch up on my jaunts up the mountains and enjoy the views of the valley. Oh, the ideas that come to me while standing up there!

This year I have turned my "change" focus to my writing. I'll be the first to admit that a writer becomes a better writer the more they write. They learn from their past mistakes and have a better understanding of what they're capable of doing. I'm no different, but I'm not content to move along as I have been. I want more from myself as a writer. No, I expect more from myself. Writing, for me, is about the pleasure of bringing to life characters, places, and stories. It's also about challenging myself, which requires hard work and time. I have no doubt I will stumble many times on this course which I've set myself upon, but I look forward to the journey. 

I've said many times in the past that the readers are the reason why I write, but that's not the whole story. I write first for myself. All thoughts of egotism aside, I write the stories that come to mind, not necessarily the stories I feel others want. My tune changes once the book is published and I hope the readers feel the same way about the book that I do, but when that story begins to formulate in my imagination, it's all for me. Then it becomes about the characters and the way they want their story told. Those characters deserve the best story I can give them, which means they need more of my time. 

If I "disappear" from time to time, it's because I'm engrossed in writing or editing. 

Wishing you all a season of embracing change!
-MK McClintock

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