Thanks to Ann for reminding us to count our blessings!
A Spring of Hope Through the Years
By Ann H. Gabhart
Here we are on the doorstep of 2012. Years ago, when I began seriously trying to get published, I started counting not only my personal blessings in my New Year’s journal entries, but also noting what was happening in my writing life. It’s truly been a rollercoaster ride with deep lows and exhilarating highs. Perhaps these peeks into my journal will encourage you to persevere and write on.
- Jan 4, 1978 – It seems appropriate that I waited till now to write in this year of ’78. I’ve waited so long and now I’m almost without words. It got an offer. Specifically Warner Books likes Kentucke Dream and wants to publish it. She (my agent) says she’s not entirely satisfied with the terms but wants to know how I feel. What am I going to tell her? Of course I’m satisfied. I don’t know anything about advances. To me, it sounds like a fortune, a miracle, an answer to prayer.
Dec 31, 1978 - I’ve written on so many New Year’s Eves since I began journal writing as a young teen. Sometimes, in ways, that seems such a long time ago. In other ways, it’s only a soft twirl of days. This passing of the old year to the new is a time to mark accomplishments, to count successes and mourn over failures. This has been an exciting year full of newness. Seeing my book (retitled A Forbidden Yearning) on the stands was a definite high.
- Jan 3, 1983 – I didn’t write on New Year’s Eve. Guess that is indicative of my mood. I hate to keep reiterating my failures, and that’s all 1983 held professionally. Rejections and even worse than that – no rejections. Only silence. So I won’t write much about 1982. I’ll let it roll over me and turn loose of it. I’ll realize I’m still able to work. I still want to write even if the words seem elusive and difficult. So what if my drawer is full of rejection slips. It’s all part of learning and growing and getting better. Pray God I am getting better and 1983 will hold something good in the wings for me, the writer.
- Jan 14, 1985 – A new year. New hope. I keep trying anyway. I’m almost finished with Shane. (A Chance Hero) I got a nice letter from my agent. She said my “lack of sales” was no reflection on my writing ability.
- Jan 2, 1987 – This time last year we were just realizing Dad was sick, and now he’s gone. I can’t review the year. Too many sad memories. Maybe I’ll stick with work news. I did sell 3 books, a record for me.
- Jan 3, 1989 – Life brings us both joy and sadness. I personally have been gifted with many good things… my family, my talent, the chance to do what I love. So many blessings and gifts. Perhaps I shouldn’t forget my spring of hope that sustains me when I’m discouraged. The next book. The next idea. The next editor. I have only to believe, to continue to try, to step forward.
- Jan 3, 1991 – I love it when I can think positive. I want to have a whole year of positive thinking. “You can do it” stuff.
- Jan 17, 1994 – A new year. Guess I didn’t search for time to write about my year because it’s been such a sorry one in regard to writing successes. You might even say it was a low point – a valley I haven’t even begun climbing out of.
- Jan 12, 1995 – It’s a funny thing trying to chase after a story idea. And today so futile I thought I’d write about it. It’s as if I’ve blanked out my mind and I’m stumbling around searching for a way out of the blankness, hoping I’ll bang into something that will suggest some possibilities. But right now it’s a white-out blizzard of nothing. Another way to describe it? It’s like I’m out in a huge field. Nothing but flat ground and grass. I’m lost but not really worried. I know that one direction will lead me to some trees or perhaps a house or something interesting – maybe even a hole I can fall into. But which direction? Where’s the story?
- Jan 21, 1998 – I want to do something fresh, something that will inspire me and make me proud to say I’m a writer again. Maybe I’ll be a writer again. Now I’m just going through the motions and doing a poor job of that. I need a new story. I need a story. Period, exclamation point.
- Jan 14, 2003 – It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Here we are starting the fourth year of the 21st Century. I haven’t worked the way I’d like. I keep dragging my feet. Letting things interfere. Falling to sleep at the wheel (or keyboard). Afraid of failing. I’m still working on Jocie’s story. (The Scent of Lilacs) I like it, but will anyone else? I don’t know. But I am going to push through to the end. If I fail, I fail. But Ive failed already if I don’t try.
- Jan 3, 2005 – Of course, the year’s highlight workwise is selling my book. I’m so excited about that I shouldn’t even think a depressing thought.
- Dec 27, 2005 – Time spins away from us in great circles. One day it’s the first of the month. The next the end. Christmas has come and gone. A new grandbaby girl has come into the world. A beautiful perfect miracle of a child. Blessed beyond imagination.
- Jan 3, 2008 – So long ago I started writing in a journal. So many private words. Yet it continues to feed my soul. Words on paper. Thoughts and ideas. Gripes and complaints. Praises and joys. Worries and troubles. Happiness and love. So many things to record over the years. I started my first journal when I was 13. I’m not 13 anymore. But I’m still here. Still writing. Still having joy and worries. But pray God, always more joy.
Happy New Year, everyone! May the year ahead give you many joys to record in your journal of life!
Ann H. Gabhart has published over twenty novels for adults and children including her bestselling Shaker novels. Ann lives on a farm in Central Kentucky with her husband, Darrell who sings bass in a Southern Gospel quartet. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann’s latest releases are The Blessed, her fourth Shaker novel, and Angel Sister, a novel inspired by the stories her mother told her about growing up during the years of the Great Depression.
You can keep up with Ann on her website, www.annhgabhart.com; her blog, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com; Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/