But for some of us who’ve been starved of the sun for seven or eight months, it can also be a hindrance. There’s pressure to be outside, mow that lawn, fix that fence, paint that wagon, suffer that allergy.
As writers, we need to lock ourselves away in order to be able to march across the landscapes of our imaginations. So for me, the autumn is what holds the giddy promise of guilt free dark afternoons and evenings, when there is no pressure to venture out and I can really get stuck into some new idea. Spring, on the other hand, beckons to me to get out.
But I use it to good effect. I try always not to start a new project in spring. Those first draft demons would drive me bonkers and turn my brain into thick porridge. Instead, I embrace the outdoors and change my way of working. I prefer to be at a revision phase, having allowed that piece (or pieces) I’ve worked on through the winter, to settle in a closed drawer. Spring is the ideal time to look at it afresh. Rediscover it and root out those weeds in nice, bite sized, sessions.
Well, that’s the plan. But you know what? if I get that one great idea while I’m creosoting the fence, I’ll just down tools and try and get it written down anyway, spring be damned.
Write, but don’t forget to live.