Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower,
But only so an hour...
I think of this poem a lot this time of year, as the leaves begin to unfurl from their buds. For a few precious weeks, they're a delicate shade of gold. Then they open fully, and suddenly everything is vividly green.
This poem could describe a writing career, too. Before an author sells, her writing is like a tightly budded leaf-- full of potential and promise. She knows the potential is there, but no one else seems able to see it. When she sells her first book, it's a golden moment, and before long her writing is unfurled for all the world to see. But all too soon the luster fades as she begins to struggle with promoting herself and writing new books.
There are many golden moments in a writing career-- every new sale, every contest win, every terrific review and fan letter-- but even if an author's career is green and flourishing, she'll never quite recapture the magic of that first call, when new possibilities stretched before her in a golden haze.