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So Fresh and So Keen

Categories: This Writer's Life.
The Fall is my prime writing time, friends. It is my favorite time of year– you get to drink apple cider, and eat apple-based pies, and the temperature is that perfect 60ish (which is just about the only temp I don’t sweat in), there is football on the TV on Sundays, the leaves start to change color, TV shows pick up their pace, movies start worrying about winning awards, publishing houses bring out their big guns, or at least their larger small guns, and my productivity goes up (unscientifically) around 67%.

I have a thing about seasons in writing. Summer is my most unproductive time, mostly because it is hot out, and people are drinking outside. I hate being holed up during the Summer and yearn to break free from the shackles of my desk/coffee shop, run around and politely ask someone to show me how kites work. Plus, because of said hot weather, the hippies tend to smell even less great.

Winter is my writing malaise season. It starts of wonderfully (snow! Christmas and/or other Winter Holidays! presents! (premium) hot chocolate!) but–at least in New England– Winter usually decides that it might like to stay a bit longer, and so it holes up on your couch through the start of Spring, deleting the shows you TIVO’d and drinking all your (organic!) 1% milk until finally, sometime around May, you’re like “Hey Winter, we need to talk.”
And Winter, sitting there, eating your Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats (organic!) cereal in its nightshirt watching reruns of Two and a Half Men, barely looks up, so you get pissed and grab it by the ear, and pull it out into the hall, and say, “Enough. You used to be cute and wonderlandy in December but now it’s May. Go back to Northern Canada!” And you kind of feel bad for a sec, but I mean, give me a break.

Yeah, um, so Winter is not my fave.

Spring has its moments, of course, and it probably would exist on some similar level to Fall if WE ACTUALLY HAD A SPRING FOR MORE THAN SIX DAYS. Weather in NE goes from Winter to Summer without pausing for season station identification, and as such, doesn’t truly give me the productive lengthy coolish change that I need.

But Fall, baby, that’s where it’s at.

Drop me your fave writing seasons in the section underfoot. After all, knowledge is power, friends.

Seasons of,
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23 Responses to So Fresh and So Keen

  1. I can write a ton of academic papers during fall and spring but spring is the best time for me to write because I feel more productive during this season. The temperature and the colors of nature during this time inspires me to do my job as a writer.

  2. Tom says:

    I was just writing about this the other day, and I think fall is becoming my favorite season, much as I used to think it nearly worthless, wet, cold, and annoying.

    I can easily cozy up to the idea of sitting in the coffee shop all day in a nice fall day and pecking away at the Mac. That seems to fit together perfectly. Plus, after October the drag strips are all shut down around here, so I don’t have to feel guilty about not drag racing while I’m writing on a Saturday afternoon.

    This year is my first NaNo. Nice to see some other folks getting revved up! It will be 50K by the end of November! Sweet! I look forward to a loosening of sanity and increased caffeine intake!

  3. Ramsey says:

    SUNDAY FUNDAY! Fall, end of story

  4. Kristan C. says:

    Despite what the rest of the world says, California does have seasons–you have to be delicately attuned to them; we don’t need no stinkin’ Big & Obvious Signs like snow to tell us when winter is here. (Although we’ve got nothing against snow. We are droughty over here. Not a lick of rain since February. We got a bit o’rain the other night and it smelled wonderful but now it’s gone and I’m depressed again.)

    ANYHOO, I like fall the best too. The 100-degree temps are over, the wind has changed just like in Mary Poppins, and it’s time to start settling down again. Spring is also lovely, what with grass growing and temps warming slightly and flowers blooming (although spring bloomed here this year in January, helloooo, global warming). Winter is also great for snuggling down with a laptop, so long as your power doesn’t go out. Summer’s nice with its long light nights, so long as you have AC. But fall is really where it’s at.

    To Pat and all my fellow NaNoers–it’s almost here! Good luck! I am giving myself until October 15 to not panic.

  5. Valerie V. says:

    Winter. It’s cozy and makes me wistful.

  6. My best times for writing are whenever I can squeeze it in. Some days, like the current ones, where I am off my day job for awhile, I have sat down and decided what I am going to work on. First, polish up my short stories, submit them to various places; then, work on my two w-i-ps; and, during periods of writer’s block, read some of my ever growing pile of TBRs.

    However, fall and winter are my best times for writing. In winter I have no inertia, the creativity flows. Often I carry a notebook to jot down ideas as they come, unbidden, to the surface. The cold, damp weather plays havoc on my knees, so I would rather stay inside and write.

    As Chris Chenoweth, ex-journalist, told me recently, "If you want to be a writer and be published, you have to be hungry!"

    Well, I’m hungry and I’m writing.

  7. I’ve run into a conundrum since I went back to grad school, because late spring and summer (which is now my slightly less school time) is writing time for me, but it tends to be a material collecting sort of writing–being active and doing stuff and then writing notes and journal entries about it. Fall and winter used to be the time when I could settle in and take those notes and observations and supplement them with more research and imagination and turn them into actual writing.

    Alas, now that I’m ensconced in the PhD world, I write a ton during the fall and winter, but it’s all academic papers. Not that I don’t enjoy those, don’t get me wrong, but it means my writing equivalent of my circadian rhythms are all messed up in the creative writing part of me. I reflect more on this here: http://deborahleiter.blogspot.com/search/label/seasons

  8. Jeanne says:

    The holidays, beginning on Halloween, overstimulate me, frazzle my resolve to sit behind a laptop and hammer out dialog between my fictitious friends, doing implausable things whilst family overloads with food, drink, and need for psychoanalysis. I tend to hate the length of summers here in Phoenix, but have made it a great excuse to drink non-stop iced teas and strong coffee while boosting the bank of perfected short stories in reserve–ever hopeful that this path to writing as a career will eventually sputter and take off… God, I miss Michigan’s fall season and a steady paycheck!

  9. Alicia Gregoire says:

    Kevin, you forgot to mention that Boston seasons seriously do change every year. This fall seems more like this past spring just with colorful leaves.

    For me, summer seems to be the best writing season. The sun rises early and sets late and I do the same. With not even a month of fall under my belt, I’ve noticed my productivity struggling. There’s got to be a version of SAD for writing I think.

  10. Vanessa says:

    Hmm… I’ve noticed for me summer is what tends to fire up the need to write, mostly because it’s too hot and humid out for my pale skin and curly hair– and also because that tends to be when the fit hits the shan in my family. Nothing fires up the imagination like annual tragedies, right?

    Fall though, fall is amazing. Best season, hands down. The colors, hoodies, sweaters, jeans, tights and Doc Martens, warm drinks, pumpkins and cranberries… and everywhere you go looks like Glen Danzig and George Romero got drunk and decorated. Who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

  11. Kat Bergstrom says:

    I love writing in fall and winter. NASCAR is coming to a heart pounding, edge of your seat end and the world turns into a magical place where the mind is allowed to soar. In fall and winter anything can happen.

  12. Kathy Wood says:

    The season of a head full of ideas is my favorite time! I love it when I have so many possibilities I can hardly get them from my brain to my computer before they fly away to visit another writer with a big question mark over their head.

    Fall is my favorite time of the year, even though I’ve lived in california (Michigan native) for 5 years now and the Fall colors aren’t as vibrant as Michigan’s. An overcast, drizzly day with a warm fire crackling in the wood stove sets a great background for writing in the winter time. No snow allowed here! Back to the drawing board, er, computer…

  13. Chrys says:

    Fall is relaxing. The changing colors of leaves…the smell of pumpkin pie…hot cider with cinnamon sticks…fresh cookies from the oven: it all makes for the ideal writing environment.

    But winter is comfort (especially in Delaware: winter’s short and you don’t have to kick it out!). When I can curl up in my pjs and pop open the laptop and sit inside all day writing while snow falls (and melts).

    Although, when the sounds of cracking helmets and announcers screaming Touchdown! on Sunday afternoon’s draws my attention away from my laptop to the television screen, I don’t get much done.

  14. Laura Armstrong says:

    Winter. Winter when I can sit at my computer indoors without feeling guilty about not being outside in the glorious summer/fall/spring weather. That’s my best writing season. Second would be summer when it’s too darn hot and sticky out most days and I can sit at my computer in the air-conditioning.

    Of course, I do have a laptop with a pretty good battery… all excuses, all the time…writer’s life…

  15. Pat says:

    Well, I’m an East coast girl also, Kev, but I love those summer days when the humidity isn’t too high. Why? to hang out at the dock and write on my AlphaSmart. You remember what that is right, Kev? Tom researched it.

    I love Spring and Fall for the same reasons. Spring, Summer, and Fall are my writing months but I have discovered that Winter is my editing and rewriting time.

    I love Fall because that mean NaNoWriMo in November and I am a NaNoWriMo addict. Lots of hot tea, hot chocolate, or if I’m really desperate for caffeine, iced tea. Hubby makes more meals, and yells when he catches me watching TV. Instead of his favorite ‘What’s for dinner” line, I get ‘Aren’t you supposed to me writing?’ You gotta love a man who makes you write and feeds you while you do.

    March is NaNoEdMo, where I learned that editing is my winter thing.

    Ah the trials and tribulations of a writer.

    Um, not sure I should bring this up, Kev, but Kim Kardashein (SP?) got kicked off Dance with the Stars tonight.

  16. Helen says:

    Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons as well. I live in Texas so our hot weather lasts from April to October. Once The end of October hits, we all get a little happier, and more productive. Thanks Kevin for another great post!

  17. Sara McNulty says:

    My season is definitely fall, with spring a close second–if it bothers to show up. Fall is crisp, mysterious, pre-death, crunching underfoot, black cats, and orange pumpkins.

    An absolute perk is a fall day that gradually sinks into a thick fog so there is nothing clear in your true vision, but so much to pick from in your head of fantasies.

    Sara

  18. I enjoy writing in the fall and spring. There’s something about the smell in the air, the feeling of the wind passing through you, and the colors (or lack thereof) of the environment. It always inspires me to be outside, putting pen to paper.

    Sincerely,
    Kelly Sabetta
    http://www.bettabookpublishing.com/blog

  19. Christine says:

    I like summer for writing because I am off from my "real-life" job of teaching and can pretend that I am an official author all summer long. I can live the fantasy during the sun-filled days. I hop on outside to my garden, fire up the laptop, and create to the tune of birds singing (Man, that was very Snow White-ish, wasn’t it?).

  20. Chris says:

    Any time of the year that the weather is bad. Then I don’t feel so bad stuck in front of the computer. I actually welcome the time.

  21. Jessica says:

    I couldn’t agree more! But for me, I have to encapsulate winter in my favorite writing season. As a recent immigrant to the west coast from Pennsylvania (and now a certified sissy) California cold does drive me indoors. Summers in Venice (CA, not Italy) are nothing if you’re not continually outside or on the beach. Now playtime is over and it’s back to the page!

  22. I like fall, too, for writing and for planning. For some reason, fall has always seemed like the time to set goals for me instead of at the beginning of the new year. Must be a throw-back impulse to my school days.

    Fall is also very bittersweet for me. Though, I love the temps (nice during the day, great sleeping weather at night), I hate the thought that winter is right around the corner. My ideal year: spring, summer, fall, then spring again! :)

  23. Genevieve says:

    Fall is my favorite writing season too, however short lived that it is here in New Orleans. I can sit outside and write without the elements driving me back inside. We tend to shift from summer to winter pretty fast too, but winter comes in November or so and ends sometime in February. Smelly hippies make great almanacs, don’t they? Ye will know when summer is upon us when the hippies begin to stink.

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