Zabowska's Blog

October 11, 2009

When fall is in the Air, it may be time to write

Filed under: Uncategorized — zabowska @ 11:27 pm

  As a writer I love the fall and winter months. In Ontario, these are the months in which I hibernate and stay inside a lot more than in the summer. These are also times when I get the most writing done.

   Every November, I plan a novel. And this November I am getting ready to write a new novel again. This time, I think I’ll write in a new genre. I am planning to write a Christian novel for Middle Grade girls. Then in December and January, I will spend sometime revising the novel. I love this productive time in the year. So, I feel very blessed indeed!

  I find it difficult to write in the summer. There are so many distractions beautiful weather, picnics to attend to, kids camp to supervise, and sometimes just plain sitting on my patio and grilling in the sun. Now don’t get me wrong, I do write in the summer. But I just feel much more productive in the winter months.

   Just as every year has seasons, I think that every writer seasons as well. There are times in a person’s life when (s)he doesn’t feel as productive as other times. For some writers, nonproductive times could go on for weeks or even months. These are times when writers just have other things to do and think about. And there is nothing wrong with that. It just makes it difficult to create a lot of new material during those times.

  I was at that point when I moved from one physical location to another. There is no worse upheaval for me than the disturbance of finding a new place to live, packing, and finally moving. During my various moves in my life time, there were times I didn’t write with any kind of consistency for months. I felt awful and lost during those times. But once I got ‘settled’ in my new digs, I certainly got productive again.

   I have recently spoken to a few of my writer friends who feel that they are not being as productive as they would like to be. They are feeling very overwhelmed and guilty too for just laying low for a while. I keep encouraging them and telling them that it’s okay for them to take some time off for themselves. Sometimes life just intervenes. Sometimes our creative juices are flowing for other things. And each writer should allow for those times without feeling guilty or unworthy.

  The reason I am pondering this topic today is I want to encourage all writers to not worry about small lapses in productivity. I want to encourage such writers to know that they are still writers even if they aren’t always productive at this very moment. And given the fact that the winter months are starting rather early in Ontario, I think even the not so productive can become productive again. I hope you feel productive too this fall.



  1. Sunny,

    I agree that life tends to get in the way at times. I think the most frustrating time for me as a writer is when I place myself in situations where I’m doing more writng for other people than I am for myself. I love collaborating with another writer. I feel energized and on top the world doing that and would never give it up.

    I also enjoy doing critiques for writer friends. Alas, I think I have overdone it just a wee bit. I’m finding myself sometimes in a morass of crits to be done and drowning for want of doing creative work of my own. However, since I created a new writing schedule for myself, things have gotten berrer and if I continue to modify as needed, I think I may be able to pull this off.

    We do need our down time just like everyone else. But since our work requires more mental gyrations than physical, I thing, perhaps, guilt gets built in whether we want it or not. After all, I can always count on someone telling me that, “Well, it’s not like you’re holding down a full-time job or anything. Wht’s so hard about writing a few words every day?”

    It’s amazing how much energy those few words truly require, isn’t it?

    Good subject. Thanks,


    Comment by claudsy — October 13, 2009 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

    • Claudsy,

      I fully agree that writers can get bogged down with the details of writing such that the process of writing is given short shrift. I recently met a writer who was in six critique groups. Gosh. She sure needs to do a lot of critiquing.

      I think as writers we need to keep it simple. First, and foremost, we must write. I am in the middle of several collaborative projects with fellow writers. And I think these are good for my development as a writer. So, I don’t find them to be a waste of valuable effort at all.

      For me, the formula for a writer is to write regardless of anything each and every day, even if it is for as little as half a hour. That continuity will really help the writer to not feel guilty. At least it helps me.

      Lastly, I have friends who always try to put down my efforts as a writer. They say that writing isn’t hard and that anyone can write. My response is always, “Well, then why don’t you write.” I never get a response to that question. There is just a deadening and uncomfortable silence at the other end.

      Most nonwriters won’t understand the writer’s life. And I try not to have too many nonwriter friends. Most of my best friends are writers and I find that they really can understand what my life is all about.

      Good luck on your new schedule. I’m sure it’ll work better for you.


      Comment by Irene — October 13, 2009 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  2. Sunny,
    I love the idea of fall being the season to write. Fall being harvesting time and all,The Law of the Harvest; everything in it’s time and season. Knowing other writers go through the seasons of writing is encouraging!

    My literary Seasons would look something like this:

    Spring is full of planting ideas and burying them deep,
    Inside the filing cabinet with piles that are oh! So, steep.
    Remembering, no need to fear when they don’t sprout this year.
    Persistence and T.L.C. will bring my ideas to fruition hopefully?

    Summer is reading and basking on an August day.
    I’m reading again at the beach while the kids play.
    Next, I write for two weeks until the sunburn heals,
    Then, I scratch and scratch and lather while my skin peels.

    Fall brings back my computer chair and my words seem to fly.
    Non-fiction occasionally gushes out of me like a disconcerting lie.
    The stories transform like bright leaves on the countless Aspen trees.
    My thoughts fleeting, coming and going like a swift and messy sneeze.

    In Winter I send the kids outside to get on their sleds and go for a ride.
    They are sent out again to build snowballs,snowmen,snow forts and hide.
    I Justify,“It is good for their imagination to play in the chilly wonderland.”
    While I am frantically finishing my manuscript to put it in my agent’s hand.

    Thanks for this great post.

    C Mackay

    Comment by c mackay — October 19, 2009 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

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