Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


By Lisa Lickel

I so killed it. I knew it when I hauled it out of the dirt to store for winter.
"It" is a several-year-old amaryllis bulb, but I could just as easily talk about my writing career.

Last year in late winter I carefully unpacked the amaryllis bulb from storage in the basement. It looked like a rock, but like the previous two years we'd planted it, the thing greened up and began to grow so fast you could watch it. I faithfully took pictures every day, planning to post many of them to my blog. Green spears grew…and…grew…and grew.

At the same time I worked on a story that I had begun a couple of months earlier. I had spent time after my third novel release thinking about which of my many projects to pursue. I finally settled on the third installment of my mystery series that was still selling. I kept pitching the second book and some other manuscripts. I branched out in marketing, trying new things, new blogs. The plant didn't bloom. I stopped taking pictures and put it outside.

My writing hit major doldrums that summer. I never have writer's block, but I do admit to writer's tantrums. None of the feelers I put out hit paydirt. The new blog I started was swirling in the bowl and none of my queries showed results. Did I still want to be a writer? Well, yeah. I sucked it up and took advantage of more volunteer opportunities for name recognition: I jumped into editing, book reviewing like crazy, working with a local writers group, revamping the blog, met a new writing buddy. Then I received several offers to write smaller things. I sold some short stories and was offered more opportunities.
Jan 27 2011

Dead of winter: I got that bulb out again last week; a little earlier than I usually do. I was sure it would never grow. I was wrong. It came back to life. I don't know if it will bloom, but it's alive and growing. Time will tell. Stay tuned for updates on all fronts.



  1. I know exactly what you mean--I was there last summer. I don't know where this winding writing road will take me (hopefully someplace warm!), but I am committed to staying on path that God has placed me, and, just maybe, I'll get a chance to pick a few wildflowers along the way. At the end of journey, I'd love to have a fragrant bouquet to hand to God. :)

  2. Oh Lisa,
    Excellent post! Hope in the midst of midwinter--as you said, on all fronts. May your garden grow. And grow. And grow!

  3. What lovely encouraging word pictures. Thank you so much Lisa! We never know what God is doing in our "dark" spaces.