Friday, 6 June 2008

Coffee Break: Here comes the sun

Hello again,


Can't believe it's that time of the week already.

(Except that its not really, because I'm making use of the nifty "scheduled posting" facility. Fingers crossed....)

I'm writing this at Thursday lunchtime. It's a beautiful day today ~ sunny and breezy, just warm enough to negate the need for a jacket, not so hot that everyone is a grumpy, sticky mess. Everyone I've encountered so far today has been happy and relaxed: a spot of sun on your back really does put a spring in your step.

My walk to work was about as idyllic as a walk through the urban north-east can get, and I was struck by three fantastic writing ideas en route. One is a character tweak for the current WIP that will add a much needed plot development, and the two other ideas related to a project I've had simmering away in the back of my brain for a few years now, but which isn't ready to be written yet. I surreptitiously scribbled the bones of them down as soon as I got to my desk, before they disappeared off to the Graveyard Of Brainwaves That You Do Not Write Down At The Time Because You're Sure You Won't Forget Them Later On (it's a real place, you know).

So I'm sitting here feeling super-pleased with the progress made so far today, and I can't wait to get home and start developing them. I'll maybe sit out on the back steps, in the last of the early evening sun, with my notebook on my knee, or I'll take a walk to the park, find a bench and watch the sun go down over the lake. On days like this I feel like I'm brimming with creativity & I can't help but be inspired, and were it not for the pesky day job I'd be churning the words out like a woman possessed.

So what I'd like to ask is, does the weather influence your creative output? Do you write darker stuff in winter? Do you start new projects in the Spring? Does Autumn see you stocking up on exercise books and sharpening your pencils in a "back to school" frenzy? Maybe, like me, the warmth of a Summer day sees your words blossom on the page. Or is your writing unaffected by the seasons, come rain or come shine?

Over to you........

23 comments:

NoviceNovelist said...

Thanks Kate - great topic when we are so affected by the unpredicatable weather in the UK. I used to really like writing in the winter on grey, damp days now I just liike writing anytime I can. I think as I've become more focussed as a writer I'm so aware of time pressures - and like you I have a 'pesky' office job so I just write when I can. Still think that winter is my time of 'inspiration' though - all those swirling, gloomy clouds...I just want to read other people's words when the sun shines - preferably with a cool drink in hand and a shady tree!

Lucy Diamond said...

Good question! I don't think the weather affects the tone of my writing particularly although I do LOVE sitting down to write when it's pouring with rain outside, and I'm all cosy in my office. Similarly, I find it a bit of a struggle when the sun is shining like today...

CC Devine said...

My mood definitely alters if it's really grey and miserable outside in the same way that it lifts when the weather is lovely.

I'm not sure how much this impacts on my creativity though because sometimes when I'm feeling a little melancoly I find that I'm bursting with ideas on how to write a 'heavy scene' likewise on more upbeat days I'm itching to get to my screen to write something silly and light-hearted.

I guess that I'm inspired and filled with creativity intermittently. Sometimes it's there and other times not and I just try to adapt to this. Not always easy when you have a day job!

Captain Black said...

In general, I don't think the weather has a big effect on what I write, since I nearly always write indoors. Exceptions are any form of extreme weather, that might set the mood for a particular scene or even generate a whole story. For example, thunderstorms, high winds, blizzards.

I tend to write better when I'm comfortable. My friend, on the other hand, says he writes more creatively when he's too cold. Weird!

Not really weather, but strange landscapes can help my creative juices. I was in a lava field (not active) in the Canaries, and that triggered some of the descriptive parts for one of my projects.

I wonder what the weather is like on Ganymede?

Clare Sudbery said...

Mostly the weather doesn't affect me. I like all weathers, indeed I like the changing of the seasons, and although sunshine makes me smile, heat makes me very cross and grumpy indeed, and generally I prefer autumn / winter. I like being snug inside while it's dark outside. But whether it affects my writing or not... I honestly haven't a clue.

The only thing I would say is...

"Does Autumn see you stocking up on exercise books and sharpening your pencils in a "back to school" frenzy?"

Possibly, yes. I come from an academic family and have spent a fair bit of time in education myself, so my life has always been organised around the academic year. I always see autumn as a time for new beginnings, most of the jobs I've done have been started in the autumn, most big life changes have been implemented at that time of year. Only one of my (three) books was started at that time of year, but if life ever stops getting in the way and I get into a steady book-writing rhythm, I can imagine starting a new book every autumn.

I also feel a sense of relief when summer is over. When you have kids, summer is exhausting, particularly if, like me, you don't get on well with hot weather.

Graeme K Talboys said...

I do prefer the winter, simply because I'm a night owl and the nights are longer and the world outside tends to have less human noise in it, but I write every day whatever the weather. The only things is, I have to be warm. Not being very active, that is a constant problem and the warmer weather (well, relatively speaking) makes this easier. In winter I tend to resemble a cocoon as I sit inside a sleeping bag with a hot water bottle.

KayJay said...

Great post! Ah, the urban north-east, land of my childhood!

The weather. Lordy, is that ever relevant to me at the moment. Having recently moved from London to New England I have been somewhat floored by the extremes in temperature over here and it completely effects my ability to work. This place is unpredictable, it's chilly and rainy today but the forecast for the next few days is CRAZY HOT. I can't work when it's hot! I like Autumn days for writing, dark days, rain or wind outside. Orange-y skies, bonfires, hot drinks. Winter's ok too, but only if it's grey and nondescript; if there's snow then I get over-excited and can't concentrate.

When the sun is shining there's some deep-seated anxiety that I have to get out there and make the most of it while it lasts. If I'm honest, the sun doesn't inspire me to create, it inspires me to sit outside drinking a lovely summery drink. So I'd better get some damn work done while it's still raining outside!

B.E. Sanderson said...

It sounds like you had a lovely day yesterday, Kate. Looks like the weather finally broke here - after two days of terrible, I woke to cloudless skies. Yay.

I'm not sure if the weather affects my writing, but typically I write better at certain times of the year. Usually it's autumn when I really crank out the words, and late winter is when I can't seem to even pull the words out. But I think the more I write, the less the seasons have an effect on my work. *shrug*

JJ said...

Hmmm, great question. I'm just wondering whether you've hit on the reason I'm so reluctant to actually write: it's too hot. It's hot all the time here. In the cool season it's hot, just not quite so... In the hot season it's intolerably hot, and in the rainy season it's hot and wet. It's also hot at night. No respite. When it's hot all the time I don't want to rush out to get some heat because it's always there... I usually have to have aircon on which isn't very controllable so sometimes I can be found in sheepskin slippers and a jumper!

Seriously though I don't think the weather affects my writing. While it was tipping it down this week I took the opportunity to write a description of a storm. They are proper tropical humdingers which have sounds all of their own.

Because of the extremes of weather it does have to be a very present part of any novel set here. Trying to describe humidity is quite difficult!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

The weather definitely affects my mood, but I don't think the weather or the season makes any perceptible difference to my writing.

ChrisH said...

My writing isn't affected by the weather - tend to keep my head in my imaginary world but I do always feel like having a mad burst during the summer. Is that a contradiction?

PS Sorry I didn't post an update before going to Hay - my broadband's been down for almost two weeks and have only just got back online.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I generall write a little less in summer, but only because I have the garden to consider.

My production slows when I'm injured, because I can't get comfortable. The last six months of broken bones have not been conducive to speedy writing.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I can't say for sure that my writing is affected by any season. I get writers' block whatever the weather! If it's a nice day however, I do find myself doing less writing and more mooching on the farm whereas the colder days find me huddled in front of the computer, writing frantically. So in some respects, I suppose the weather does affect my writing mood.

CJ xx

Rowan Coleman said...

I don't think the weather affects my writing, but it does affect my mood. I'm much more melodramtic on a cloudy day than on a sunny day - so perhapos its does? I also notice that it seems to be cold and rainy in many of my books, so am making an effort to write a sunny one now!!

Calistro said...

I feel like I write a lot more in the autumn/winter months than I do in the spring/summer - probably because I spend more time indoors! Although I do get horribly grumpy when the days are short. Like Lucy I LOVE being indoors at my desk when it's raining outside. It feels so romantic, like I'm a proper writer somehow!

Calistro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debs said...

The weather does affect my mood as I much prefer warmer, sunnier days but I don't think the weather affects my writing at all.

That said, I do love writing with the doors open and the sun streaming in, I think it helps me sit there longer and helps me be a little more creative. So maybe the weather does affect me more than I had thought.

Caroline said...

For my first 2 novels I wrote November - July, redrafted August/September and finished.

I usually write the majority during the winter ... but this year I didn't. This time I wrote a novella in November and didnt start until this February. I need to write during term time and need to finish by July 18 before the children finish school! I'm realising how much I need those winter months for my word count :(

Fingers crossed that I can manage to finish in the next 6 weeks.

Oh and I always buy a new notebook and pen before I start :)

x

L-Plate Author said...

I tend to write whenever and wherever I can so the weather doesn't affect me that much. But I do get more done during the long dark nights of winter purely because there aren't any tempting glasses of wine sitting out in the garden to enjoy instead.

My new laptop doesn't allow me to write in the garden now as the screen is too reflective :(

wordtryst said...

The weather here has two settings: hot and hotter. I find it very hard to work when it's very hot so I tend to work at nights when it's cooler.

During the months of the northern winter it's much cooler down here and at that time I'm energized and the work comes more easily.

Lane said...

Good question and I think I'm extremely affected by the weather, mood wise. Not sure how that affects the writing though. It's certainly easier to concentrate when it's horrible outside and the garden is not tempting you (or taunting you with weeds, in my case).
Stocking up on notebooks? I never need an excuse to do that:-)

Helen Shearer said...

Hello,

If you had asked me last week if the weather affects my writing I'd have said it didn't, but this weekend has been hot and humid, the first heatwave of the summer, and I haven't written so much as my name. I've spent much of the weekend sitting on the couch, lights off, curtains closed, swilling a variety of cold bevs and watching movies. I suppose I write better when it's on the cool side. I love to write in the middle of snowstorms, but I write all the time. I tend to spend more time in air-conditioned cafes when the humidity kicks in.

DK Leather said...

As Zinnia (ooh I must call you btw!) said... it definitely affects my mood.

I don't think it affects my writing, except that if it's beautifully sunny I'd rather be out in it and enjoying the sunshine than cooped up writing at home!