Are You Facing a Season of Stagnation?

As my husband and I toured Caddo Lake, our guide explained to us that with the recent rains, the lake's level had risen, and the creek currents were circulating fresh water into the ecosystem. Bright, new vegetation was unfurling, and the fishing was fine.

By late this summer, however, thick growth (much of it of invasive, non-native species) will clog the water's surface, depriving large areas of oxygen and suffocating the life below.

I think the creative life has similar seasons. Fresh ideas bring us new growth. Risk-taking forces change. Without either, we enter a season of stagnation, marked by boredom, apathy, or exhaustion. Play drops out of the equation, and we start going through the motions.

Readers quickly sense when joy has drained from an author's work. They might hang with a favorite for a while, but eventually, they'll seek out fresher waters.

So today ask yourself what risks you've taken lately? What new techniques have you tried? Are you recycling the same characters or retelling the same story? What fresh currents can you allow to stir the waters?

As you experiment, you may find yourself reminded that this work needn't seem like work at all. At it's finest, it can feel like a spring day on the lake.


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