Writer’s Winter


Okay, I confess . . . I love winter. Gray clouds full of snow, cold wind biting my face, soft sweaters, scarves, mittens, hats, and coats. There is nothing better than a steaming cup of coffee, a good book, a comfy chair and the warm glow of the fireplace. when snow is predicted I hang on to every word the weatherman speaks. I’m like a child waiting for Santa Claus, because where I live a snow event is as rare as Santa’s visits. Sometimes rarer.

The majority of my friends hate winter. They are miserable when the sky is steel sky and the temperatures drop to freezing. From their point of view nothing happens in winter. Everything looks and feels dead. No leaves on the trees, no grass in the lawn, no flowers in the beds. Just . . . bleh.
Soooo, why am I writing about winter? Because we sometimes experience this season in our writing lives when nothing seems to be happening. Our minds are frozen, no words are on our screens, no inspiration in our souls. Just . . . bleh.

But here’s a good word. Although winter gives the appearance of death, life is happening below the surface. This season is nature’s time of rest and rejuvenation. Much in the same way, when we are experiencing writer’s winter. Therefore, we should also rest and rejuvenate. It is a time to play, read, and push our writing roots deeper.

The way I play is doing fun writing exercises. One of my favorites is describing things using different senses not normally used. This stretches my imagination and refreshes my description storehouse. For instance, describe with violin music looks like. What does fire taste like? What would bravery sound like? What does sorrow look like?

These are just to get you started. Grab a notebook and have fun coming up with your own.

I also read books, both in my genre and in other genres as well. Then there are inspirational blogs such as Jane Friedman and how to books on writing like Steven James’ Story Trumps Structure. By doing this we nourish our writerly minds. Warning, read for the pleasure of it, and resist the temptation to edit while you read.  Appreciate the talents of others.

So, my kindred spirits, if you find yourself in writer’s winter, embrace it. Take the time to rest and rejuvenate. In no time writer’s spring is sure to bloom on your screen!

2 thoughts on “Writer’s Winter

  1. I LOVE winter and snow, which is even RARER where I live. 😦 But thank you for the motivation to dig deep for what is happening below the surface. And I love your exercise to use different senses to describe something. Like, what does this morning’s cup of coffee sound like? Like the early morning conversations of my parents, aunts and uncles that I used to secretly listen to at Grandma’s house, while I lie in the living room, snuggled under quilts with my siblings. And it was probably snowing outside, too. 🙂

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