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The Effect of Seasons

I think the seasons affect my writing, and a lack of them is a detriment to my productivity.

Looking back, I have almost four years of data on daily word counts. Like any activity, there are ebbs and flows in my productivity, but before our move to California there was a definite cycle to my output. Fall and winter I produced large volumes of fiction. Springtime I slowed down to a tickle, and summer’s were typically quiet until I ramped up again in August/September.

I think a lot of that was the psychology of the seasons. The problem is, once we moved to California, we have lived in a near permanent spring. I can see that in the tracking of word counts – since our move, I have large stretches of low to no word counts. The few knolls and hills in the chart are short-lived.

I’m not trying to imply that you can’t be a writer and live somewhere like California, or a tropical island, etc. Plenty do and are far more successful than I am. I am only suggesting that something in my conditioning – winters being a time of holing up, reading and writing and playing games so that you’re ready to stretch your legs again in the spring – precludes me from successfully writing now.

While it’s been nice to not have to ever deal with snow, or a cold snap, or random road conditions, I’m not sure my brain has adapted. One of the appeals to our pending move to Portland is that there will be seasons again. I really hope that means you’ll see more from me on writing. At the very least, more than these almost but not quite weekly blog posts.


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