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Harvesting My Writing

As spring begins, book inc writer Liz deBeer finds guidance for her writing journey in the wisdom of runic readings.

By Liz deBeer

April 18, 2024

Daffodils in whites and yellows, tulips in reds and pinks, and lilacs in various purple hues all blossom under sunrays and drizzle while birds and bugs swoop—a reminder of hope and new beginnings.

Until I open my laptop to discover another rejection from an editor or agent, saying my Young Adult manuscript or short stories aren’t the right fit. Each refusal stings, even though I’ve been published before in journals, newspapers, and magazines.

For consolation and direction, I often turn to a bag of marked stones to perform a runic reading, as I previously described in my Journal, “Runic Reflections on Writing.When I have angst or low motivation, I dig into the bag of runes, pull out a stone or two, and consider the relevance to my life.

Recently, I told myself (and the runes) I was concerned about getting my fiction published. After rummaging around the bag of stones, I pulled “Jera” —which means Harvest, an apt reading for early spring. “Jera” is a reminder not to expect quick results. In other words, not to be like an impatient farmer who yanks at emerging sprouts, attempting to make them grow faster. This stone proposes that a harvest will come with patience and hard work, offering encouragement for future successes.

Like a farmer working the soil, we writers toil with our craft, hoping to reap the rewards with a future publication. Our process also follows a natural cycle, beginning with the seed of an idea, then a rough draft, then the revision work: editing for clarity, reworking for style, eliminating redundancies. The final step: submitting our work for publication. It’s a message of tenacity, working through all the steps before a piece is ready for publication, including coping with inevitable rejections.

As I edit and revise my manuscript, short stories, and this essay again and again, I keep reflecting on the old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon oracle, a voice from past generations that says achievement isn’t easy—it never was.

Liz deBeer

Liz deBeer, a language arts teacher, has published in newspapers, teaching journals, and magazines, including The New Jersey English Journal, InsiderNJ, Editor & Publisher, and Lilith Magazine. She currently resides in New Jersey where she is writing young adult novels and flash fiction.

Liz deBeer, a language arts teacher, has published in newspapers, teaching journals, and magazines, including The New Jersey English Journal, InsiderNJ, Editor & Publisher, and Lilith Magazine. She currently resides in New Jersey where she is writing young adult novels and flash fiction.