Winter is coming. I’m not talking about A Game of Thrones. The seasons are changing. Weather and seasons can affect what people do and how they do them. But can seasons affect writing? That’s what we talk about this time.
I’ve spent the majority of my series in either autumn or winter (mostly winter now), so it’s not so much that the seasons affect my writing as that my writing affects my perceived season. I live in the desert, okay, so it’s never actually winter here — not as I knew it when I lived in New England — but the story has kept New England-style winter trapped in my head for several years now, to the point that I actually forgot what season it was while I was talking to my boss once in October. I’ve gotten seasonally displaced like that a few times, just in my mind — I don’t walk around in winter clothes in July or anything. But if you asked me what season it was off-the-cuff, while I was distracted, I might blurt that out no matter the month.
Massively, actually. I get most of my writing done in winter. I live in a really rural area, jobs are seasonal, and not a great deal happens in the darker months because most people live out in country lanes and don’t want to drive 10kms to get to a bar (which they can’t guarantee will even be open). And it’s just too cosy in front of the wood burners! But I love it. When I get fixed on a project it’s all I want to do. Plus no one nags me to get out and get some sunlight as it rains so much and so heavily, so I’m practically hibernated.
In the summer I get nothing done on writing projects. The world and his wife arrive to their holiday homes, family and friends come to visit, there’s an event going on every other day and a million invites to dinner. Not least, the kids are off school for a whole two months — ten weeks some years! I get quite grrrowly that I can’t write, even though it’s something I should anticipate by now. I keep up with my editorial commitments at The Colored Lens, though.
I should have a ‘Beware of the Writer’ sign up in my front window, and a scalped crocodile’s skull to back it up. Basically, for the safety of the public, I need a camper van so I can drive off somewhere quiet. I’m working on that plan. Seriously.
It depends. Sometimes, summer or Christmas break means I have tons of time (and motivation) to write. Other times they seem to mess me up. Really, it just comes down to me being committed to my story and making time to write. Or my story being loud enough in my head that I have to write it whether I’ve made time or not.
I definitely write better in the summer, and think that whoever decided that NaNoWriMo should be November (which is often the most stressful month) made a mistake.
Despite barely being able to see light from outside from where I write, I still write better when it’s sunny, though there’s no impact if it’s just cloudy or raining for the day. Extended periods without sunlight are what weaken my ability to get motivated.
The seasons don’t really affect my writing. Other than I might write more in the winter when it’s cold and dark.
In the few weeks of spring and summer when the weather is nice, I just want to be outside. That means I don’t get much writing done. But as far as the dark of winter or rainy days, weather doesn’t affect me. My writing room doesn’t have windows so it’s always comfortable, sunny creative time in here.
They honestly don’t. When I was an active participant in NaNo I could really get in to the spirit around autumn. Now, I can procrastinate all year long.
In oh so many ways. Since I’ve broken most of the bones of the bones in my body more than once each… rainy weather and cold seasons are not my friends. Also, as an archaeologist, I often spend nice days outside working. You can see how this would make writing difficult sometimes.
Well, that’s a hard one to answer, to be honest. I might think that summer gives me a little more freedom to do outdoor things with the family. But once I’m in the Zone, that’s pretty much it, no matter what it’s doing outside.
I think the weather can affect my mood in good or bad ways, which can then have an impact on the style or content of writing. I wrote a lot of winter scenes while buried under a snowstorm in Boston, but then again – also wrote a lot of the same while living on a tropical island under swaying palm trees. The experience of the seasons and climates is definitely a plus, though. Although a lot of writing comes strictly from imagination, having direct experience with tropical storms or blizzards or tornados does hep describe them all with a little added nuance and realism.
When I lived in Japan, the seasons definitely affected how I wrote. When it was winter, thanks to the poor insulation in typical Japanese apartments, I tended not to write much at all. When I write, I want to be comfortable. I need to be at a comfortable temperature, and I can’t concentrate on writing when I’m cold. I’m able to do a lot more in other seasons. Now that I’m in Canada, and it’s warm inside in winter, the effect should be a lot less. The main difference is how much privacy I can get. In summer, my daughter’s off from school, so she’s around a lot more.
How about you?
If you write, how do the seasons affect you? If you read, do you read more or less in different seasons or weather? Let us know in the comments below.