The Seasons of Writing

In the prairies where only a month ago farmers worried about lack of moisture, they now face devastating floods. In Ontario summer-like temperatures of 30+C degrees have been around all spring. Here in western British Columbia spring growth is greener than ever, but not much is blooming. For the past three weeks glimpses of sunshine have been rare and the flowers need it. Meteorologists claim the extremes in weather aren’t exceptional or record-breaking, just the typical cycles of nature.

Feast or famine, dearth or abundance – life is full of extremes.

So is the writer’s life. Some days or weeks the words spill out like fat peas splitting the restraint of their pods. Other days they’re trapped in the fuzziness, un-ripened and unable to be coaxed onto a page. The harvest is elusive.

What makes the difference? What’s behind the cycles of a writer’s life?

For me, there are figurative ‘seasons’ of writing:

  1. WINTER – a season of storing up ideas, evaluating, and waiting.
  2. SPRING – a time of discovery, of nurturing new ideas, delighting in a fresh start.
  3. SUMMER – a race of recording, capturing the essence of a story before it escapes.
  4. AUTUMN – a time to relish the accomplishment of a first draft and begin harvesting the gems, adjusting, reorganizing, revising.

What are the seasons in your writing?

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12 thoughts on “The Seasons of Writing

  1. joylene says:

    Oh dear, I don’t have any. (Scratching head) What do you suppose that means?

    In the olden days, I like to write when it was cold, garden when it was warm, and fish when it was hot. Now…?

    Uh-oh, now I have to go sit in the corner and contemplate this new development.

    Good question, Carol.

  2. I seem to have a cycle of drought season followed by tornado season. Right now I’m being tossed around in a creative whirlwind brought on by an idea for a book I want to write for my mother. She loves to read, and I’m hoping to have my manuscript finished by her birthday in October.

    • Feast and famine… drought, tornado and whirlwind. Those are extremes all right.

      Your mother will be thrilled with a book written especially for her, and with a goal like that in mind I’m sure you’ll make it.

  3. Tricia says:

    I have trouble writing in extreme temperatures. In the winter — even with the heat on — I’m so cold, I can barely write.

    In the summer — even with the AC on — my hands sweat on the keyboard and I hate that. Seems I’m always looking for the right condition in which to write.

    Spring and fall are usually so tempting to be outside that that alone is a distraction. Oh, when will I find my season?

  4. Dave Ebright says:

    (sigh!) It seems we have only 2 seasons here. HOT & HOTTER.

  5. Shari says:

    Good analogy. 🙂 I think I’m in late spring, lagging only slightly behind Mother Nature’s seasons. Although I haven’t written much over the past several months, much mulling/planning/discovering has taken place, and I’m feeling that “almost ready to write” twinge of excitement.

    • The season of new beginnings. I love the invigoration of designing the landscape and working the soil, knowing that something beautiful will soon emerge. Ready… Set… Write!

  6. catwoods says:

    Carol Benedict, that was hilarious!

    Carol, using your analogy, I would be stuck in perpetual autumn. I have a ton of writing that is finished and in various stages of revision.

    I’ve learned so much that I have a lot to apply to my manuscripts to make them stronger. I fear, however, that some will never ripen for the harvest.

    Great post.

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