Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Fricassee

There's a fire crackling in the hearth. Which makes me not want to move from this spot.

Winter does that to me; steals my non-writing productivity. It's fortunate for me (and my stories!) that writing is sedentary; that I can, indeed, get a lot done while huddled by the nearest and most convenient heat source.

The problems occur when I find I don't want to move at all. As in, I've got to do Something Else. Because, yeah, writing isn't the only thing I do. (It's the only thing I want to do, but that hardly counts.)  And when I'm so cold that even my jodimitts are shivering, it's hard to tear myself away from the warmth to get on with things.

I even put off going to the bathroom. 

So, yeah.  It's one of those days.  One of those weeks, actually.

Okay, it's winter.  I'm doomed until spring.

Which leads me to my get-everyone-to-chat-in-the-box topic: How do the changing seasons affect your writing? Do you draft better in the summer and revise like a champ when it snows?  Does NaNoWriMo fall at exactly the right season for you?  Are you impervious to the weather? Or do you live on a small island in the Caribbean where you are always warm and happy?  (Please don't tell me if the latter is true.  I will hate you at once.)

If I had Nothing Else to do, winter wouldn't be a problem.  Who can complain about a cozy fire, a perfect lap desk, and steaming coffee?  It's the Other Life Things that suffer.  In all, summertime is best for me, because my writing options are wide open-- as in, writing in the car (yes, I do that), writing on the screened-in porch, writing at the vineyards, writing anywhere.

Well, not anywhere that has ants.  Or wasps.  Or yellow jackets or mosquitoes or ticks.

So maybe summer does have a few set-backs.  But that's what air conditioning is for.

Okay, your turn!


  1. First!

    Winter is just generally a terrible season. I love snow and sweaters until Christmas but then, come one, six months of this junk (Minnesota). It's easier to writer when the days are longer.

  2. I have 3 kids and I'm on a schedule dictated by them and my students, so season is less important to me. What I find is that sometimes I have trouble getting myself in the "summer" mindset in the winter, or vice versa. Sometimes I have to slow down and take ten minutes looking at pictures to get the right feel before I can write a scene in a wildly different season than the one I'm in. :)

  3. Sometime in February and lasting through March to sometimes April, I get some kind of general malaise where I don't want to write. Well, revise that... I want to write, but I can't seem to get up the gumption and when I try everything I write is crap. That's why I'm trying to push myself and get this WIP done before the malaise hits. (As long as it doesn't hit early.)

    Enjoy the fire.

  4. I live way down on the US map where winter is summer and summer is hell on Earth. (Except this week. Cold.)Weather doesn't matter, except having the little monsters in school sure does help productivity. I've just got to reach the point where I get hooked on the story.

  5. I'm from Canada - so winter means shovelling each morning to get my car out of the driveway just to have a snowplow block me back in.

    But I find I do a lot more writing in the winter months because I'm inside more. During the summer, I go to my cottage and do a lot of napping and reading in the hammock. It's hard to sit down and type in the summer when you can smell the BBQ outside and see the boat tied up to the dock - begging you to take it out.

  6. I'm one of those weirdos who is much happier and more productive in the winter. I hate summer--too hot, too muggy--and it makes me sluggish and miserable. Cold all the way!

    Word ver: bledin
    Sounds unpleasant. =(

  7. I am much more productive in the winter. We are outside hiking, biking, and boating on the lake in summer. We don't eat dinner until nine pm and the sun goes down at ten or so. And the kids are home. So, the winter and spring— snow, cold, and kids being in school— is my best time for writing.

  8. I find it harder in winter. I get up early to write before the kids start making demands and the day job starts, and in the winter when its freezing cold and pitch dark, it's really hard to get up and work.

    If I had central heating or something it might be that little bit easier, but apparently it's not cold enough in New Zealand for that carry on. So I just type in gloves...

  9. It's not so much the winter, but it's the night time. I'm most productive during the day, which makes it a shame I have to hold down a 9-5...or in my case and 8-4:30--lol.

    Usually, when I get home from work I can put in a solid 3 hrs of writing and then veg out on the sofa, hang out with friends, or do whatever.

    But in the winter, when it's dark at 5pm, I feel mentally drained sometimes. I force myself to keep up the writing, but it's all too easy to just let the darkness outside, make me feel like it's 8pm.

    Still, nothing beats a nice snow storm where I have nowhere to be all day and can sit by the heat with some coco and write! Just like a nice thunderstorm in the summer--that doesn't take out my electricity. So maybe I like writing during storms...hmmm.

  10. I have no heat source I can write next to. All my heat comes from vents above the doorways. I would have to type under the doorway to feel warmth.
    For this reason winter is the worst time to write for me since I have to move around to keep from freezing to death.
    Gotta jump up now and run in circles.

  11. I know you don't want to hear from Florida (the only state without snow), but it's been unseasonably cold here. And the central heat makes me want to take a nap. We're also such babies , we don't go out side when it's cold. Thankfully next week will hit 70. Regarding writing, I can write most any season as long as I'm not ... yawn.

  12. The season isn't the biggest factor for me... it's mostly my setting. Unless I have a strict goal I'm working towards (like Nanowrimo), I'm just not super productive at home. Way too many distractions. Take me to a coffee shop, regardless of the weather, and I'm golden.

    That said, a *comfortable* summer day is my favorite time to write in said coffee shop. My favorite place usually leaves their door open in good weather and when the occasional breeze blows through... ahh, bliss. The only time that didn't work was when it was 100 degrees outside, 98% humidity, and their a/c was broken. The open door wasn't so great that day.

  13. I'm with you, Authoress. Winter is not my favorite time of year, especially once the holidays pass and all we have to look forward to is more cold, snow, ice, wind, etc. My writing schedule is dictated by my kids - when they're in school, I have more time to write. When they're home, hopefully they are keeping each other entertained - and they have more options when the weather is warm.

  14. Like the other moms have said- winter is when I do have time to write. We dont even have soccer practice right now. And the dog is leaving me alone because its so cold he doesn't want a walk.

    I don't like winter. I grew up in South Texas. I can't stand the feeling of being bundled up, especially while in the car. But I've learned to love the toasty feeling of a laptop as I wait for my ballerina to come out of her class. (it's not so nice in the 100 degree summer)

  15. In Los Angeles, we have no seasons. The winter weather is rather schizophrenic, which can make you that way, too. So today, on this seventy-five degree day, I'm trying to find things to do inside so I won't have to shave my hideous January legs, and wear SHORTS for heaven's sake (which I won't necessarily fit into because of the Christmas bulge), and then walk around IN PUBLIC.

    Okay, so I'm vain. But really, living in perpetual warmth is not all it's cracked up to be. Plus I hear all you four-seasoners will live longer.

    Grumpy in the sunshine,

  16. Season doesn't matter to me, I write whenever an idea hits me and usually after a I complete and edit a MS I don't jump to another project for a couple months, last year I was writing in every season because that's when I happened to get my ideas.

    I used to live on a warm Caribbean island...but I have a feeling I would have been less productive there lol

  17. I love reading about how different everyone's seasons are, in different parts of the world.

    For me, winter is the best season for writing. I'm in Melbourne and we've been getting 30 degree (celcius) days with 95% humidity and we have no air con. Not very conducive to writing when you're sticking to your seat.

    I love writing in winter, so long as you have a heater or something blowing warm air right on you, and some sort of warm drink to sip on. No snow in winter in this part of the world.

  18. Ha! I was just bemoaning these same sentiments today. I'm in Seattle and about this time of year I am so done with the cold, the rain and the icky days I could scream! I don't think I'm very productive. That depressing ooze seeps into my brain and saps me of motivation. I just want to curl with a blanket and read. I will call it "research".;)

  19. Seasons don't really matter. How many books(fiction especially) I've read recently does. If I haven't read a good book in the past month, I write much less than if I have. Summers, when I get to read whatever I want––though hot––are the best. If only I could sit around and read all day, followed by a week of writing, I would be in bliss. Read, Write, Repeat. :)

  20. I'm in the camp that finds it easier to write in the winter - fire in the fire place, glass of wine at hand and the laptop keeping my legs warm.

  21. I find that when the cold weather hits, my consciousness retreats into my imagination where it's still warm and cozy and I can keep the tempests at bay. Actually, this is my first winter on a farm (I used to live in Toronto, which I'm convinced has the ugliest winters in the world -- cold and slushy without that famous Canadian snow-swaddled majesty to compensate), so I'm enjoying the season.

  22. Rain is the weather that feels most inspiring to me, but often as not I just end up staring out the window, watching it fall.