For those of us who live in a Northern Climate, writing has just become much, much harder. Logic would dictate that since it’s so damn cold out we SHOULD have all this time to write while we sit in front of a roaring fire drinking hot, alcohol laced drinks.
All I can say is Logic is stupid; next time I meet it, I’m going to have a few choice words to share… maybe even a couple body shots.
The truth of the matter is we are now in a period of time when the sun only graces us for a few hours per day. As luck would have it, those hours are the exact same ones that correspond to my working life. You know, the one that actually pays the bills right now. That, unfortunately, means that I get up and go to work in the dark and come home in the dark too.
It’s pretty darn exhausting. I find myself fighting to stay awake on my 45 minute bus ride home every night. That fight continues pretty much until I put up the white flag and crawl into bed at night.
Going to bed earlier doesn’t seem to help either. Nor does trying to elevate my energy levels through exercise, caffeine or even electro-shock. When I have time to write (or edit), my mind is fuzzy and unresponsive. If I try to write what I’m thinking it typically goes “Gee Guido, I’m sure tired. Are you sure, yawn, that we can’t ice dis guy tomorrow, say just before lunch?” Actually, that’s not bad. Maybe I can write a story about the terminally fatigued hitman.
I was just thinking about Sean and his personal writing challenges. Here’s a guy who started a new job and worked crazy hours until just recently. He cuts back on his hours only to have our season of winter bliss reduce his energy levels to compensate for all the extra time he claims to have. At least, I assume his energy has dipped down… with Sean you never know.
I know what you’re thinking… stop whining and just suck it up already, right? I heartily agree with you. I really bring this up more to increase your (and my) awareness. We all know that emotions and events around us affect our writing. Sometimes it is reflected in our writing and sometimes it shows in how much we actually accomplish. Either way, the only way to realize its affects is to also understand the cause.
I know that even though I have more hours at my disposal in the house (because it’s too cold to go out to do anything), I also have less hours to be productive. That means I’ve got to pay close attention to myself and understand when I can make best use of my time.
Take this post, for example. I normally have an idea and run with it. Tonight, I had an idea, started writing, realized I had somehow strayed to a totally different topic (and WOW was I ever whining… if you think this is bad, you have no idea). I took the 500+ words and simply hit delete. Then I started again.
Simply put, my mind is telling me to shut down. Even though this is the normal time for me to write (actually it’s the time that I’ve determined is my most productive), I’m exhausted for no other reason than it’s dark outside. Oh yeah… and cold too, definitely cold.
Now that I realize it, I’m going to try to get my writing done as soon as I’m home. That way, when I’m tired, I can put my jammies on and crawl into bed with a good book (to read, not edit).
How about you? What do you do to compensate? Do you actually need to have writing strategies for things like weather or am I just weird?
I’d love to hear from you. What techniques do you use?
Oh, and just a quick update… I have been editing and so far I have shaved off about 2,200 words. That means I’ve got a looong way to go before I’m done and the clock is rapidly ticking away.