Do the Seasons Affect Your Writing?

Do the Seasons Affect Your Writing?

“We cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but we can change ourselves.” unknown

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We’ve reached that time of year when people start thinking about change. What can we change to make our lives better? What can we do within our homes to brighten up our days? What can we do in the garden to improve our eating habits? While there are four seasons of change, I, personally, only seem to think of such things in Springtime.

I don’t know what it is about Spring that makes me thing about such things. Autumn is my absolute favorite, and a lot of things in nature morph during that time as well. I think it has everything to do with what the next few months after a long Winter season represent. Spring and Summer represent the perfect time to get out and explore, renew favorite hobbies or find new ones, and is a great time for enacting brand new ideas.

As I wrote those last words I was laughing to myself because they sound like some crazy horoscope of the day. No, I don’t subscribe to horoscopes or astrology, but there is something to be said about how the weather can affect an individual’s creativity. In fact, a Twitter friend recently shared that she loves the Ozark rain because it puts her in a great mood to read or write. And this brings me to the next point: Seasons in Novels.

Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.” — Elizabeth Bowen

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There is much debate over how to include the seasons or passage of time in novels, and I don’t think there’s really a wrong way to do so. There will always be the cliche scene devices everybody will read/write from time to time, but it’s how we word it that makes all the difference.

Rain trailing down a windowpane as the MC stares out into the dead of night.
A foreboding dark cloud that covers the sun, spurning superstition among village folk.
Breath seen from the enemy’s nose on an oh-so-frigid Friday morning in New York City.

Characters in novels really should have to deal with the elements. Even if a novel takes place entirely inside, there’s usually some mention of weather in its pages. Because it’s a natural part of life.

The challenge lies in how the weather is written. Will you choose an age old classic or put your own spin on those giant drops of rain?

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” — Stanley Horowitz 

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Finally, we’ve come to the mood part of the post. Your mood, my mood. Not the character’s mood. Do you have a preference for your favorite time of year, or does the concept really not matter? As I mentioned earlier, Autumn is my favorite, and the season where I tend to get all my ideas. In fact, I officially began my writing journey in August of 2016, and jumped at the chance to build this website. Coincidence? I think not.

Some people hate the “Write when you’re inspired!” mantra, “It’s a discipline,” they say. “It absolutely has to be a discipline!”

While I agree with both ideas to an extent, I fall more in line with the “Write when you’re inspired” part. Everyone needs the right setting, their perfect music or perfect silence, and their favorite things in order to write. Do you write in a sterile environment, where everything is neat and orderly? Do you write amongst clutter and piles of books? Is your environment someplace in between?

However, whenever, and in whatever Season you prefer to write, don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Find that happy place, that sweet spot, that perfect season that helps your creative juices flow.

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