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a:Hope Springs Eternal: Hang on, Writers. We’re Almost There.


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WEBB

I stepped outside this morning and heard birdsong, smelled melting snow on the air, and noticed the sun felt slightly warmer. Spring is coming, and it couldn’t come at a better time. I hit a pandemic wall last week (I suspect many of you are experiencing similar feelings). The losses nationwide have been incredibly difficult, crippling for some, and to compound all of that, the restlessness has set in.

I’m done being indoors and I’m done being isolated. I’m done NOT seeing my friends and family, not seeing my writer friends. I want hugs and kisses and laughter. I crave inspiration that is difficult to find when your days look like Ground Hog Day.

But that lovely moment this morning got me to thinking about all of the hope on the horizon. The way it can come in the smallest of ways and in the smallest of places, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Household tasks that engender hope:

  • Make a crude little map of your flowerbeds or your vegetable garden and figure out what you’d like to plant and where it will go in your beds.
  • By some new gardening gloves or beautiful pots.
  • Pull a Marie Kondo and do some spring cleaning. Clean out a closet and get rid of everything you haven’t worn or thought about in two years. (We can’t count last year, can we!)
  • Today, think about how you will spend your extra hour of daylight. It’s a gift, after all.
  • Surf the travel discount websites and make a list of places you’d like to go. Make a list of museums you never got around to visiting that will not only need your dollars, but will be a great inspiration for your writing—and your hope! (The restrictions will ease soon, my friends.)

Writerly tasks that engender hope:

  • Read a craft book on your shelf that you’ve been meaning to get to, or order a new one.
  • Buy a new journal. (I’m currently obsessed with the gorgeous patterns on Papier.com. You can have your name embossed on them. They make great gifts, too!)
  • Clean out your pen cup and buy new pretty ones (I love colored gel or sparkly pens). Sharpen all of your pencils. Toss dried up markers and get a fresh pack.
  • Make a list of three outdoor spots where you can enjoy a “free write.” Bundle up and bring your new journal there and answer a writing prompt, or describe what you see and smell and hear all around you. Think about how these sensations bring you joy. Perhaps bring your craft book along on this little journey and work through the exercises in it.

Though simple, small tasks, they all bring about a sense of renewal, and a sense of replenishment of what has been used or lost. I think that will be my theme for 2021–replenishing what has been lost. It’s time to put the gut-wrenching, fearful, bored, lonely, grief-stricken thoughts and feelings that came with the pandemic behind us, or at least it’s time to try. It’s also time to start celebrating what is on the horizon that is good and hopeful, and maybe even a little exciting. Wouldn’t you say so? Hope springs eternal, after all, and I can smell it on the breeze.

What is giving you hope in these last days of winter (literally and metaphorically)?

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About Heather Webb

Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction. To date, Heather’s books have sold in over a dozen countries worldwide. As a freelance editor, Heather has helped many writers sign with agents and go on to sell at market. When not writing, she feeds her cookbook addiction, geeks out on history and pop culture, and looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

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