Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Summer officially begins in a little less than a month. Of course, we all know that with Memorial Day the season really begins, regardless of what the calendar says. We sense those things that mark the real seasonal shifts. Summer starts when prom dresses and corsages are carefully put away, when school lets out, when graduations take place and when the beach starts calling our name. Autumn is ushered in by school clothes shopping, fall foliage and the first day of school. Winter comes on the heels of Thanksgiving, as soon as we start hearing Christmas music, right? And spring? Well, spring is deferent for every climate zone. It happens when green begins to push from brown or through snow.
It’s funny that this summer caught me unprepared. I think I’ve been so busy, head down, nose to the grindstone that, until I began to see prom and graduation pictures on Facebook, I would have sworn we were still in April. But for those of us in the publishing industry, summer marks a whole different rhythm. It started last week for me. We had deadlines for having our material ready for ICRS (The Christian publishing industry trade show) and the stream of email slowed somewhat. It’s like everyone is making the season shift.
It started me thinking. What are the best seasons for writing? What are the hardest seasons? I found reasons for and against each season. For instance:
Winter is the perfect time to hole up in a cozy office and write. Traditionally storytellers seem to gravitate to long nights and a warm fire.
But on the other hand, in western culture Winter can be our busiest time with Christmas, New Years parties, endless church activities, school pageants, gift buying, card sending. . . need I go on?
Spring seems to mark a sense of rebirth, new ideas and the return of writing conferences. It’s a season of possibilities.
But conversely spring brings Easter and all that entails, spring break, spring cleaning, garden chores, science fair, dance recitals and any number of responsibilities, depending on what stage of life one is in.
Summer. Ahh, summer. We can move our writing out onto the deck or take ourselves to a hideaway by the lake. The days are so much longer that we can practically meet our writing word goals almost done before anyone else is awake.
Of course summer may mean the kids are home from school. Grade school children are usually bored by the third day of summer vacation. Teens seem to sleep forever, draping themselves over every piece of furniture in the house. And food! It feels like all we do is create meals. Add in vacation travel, VBS, family visitors from afar, slumber parties and barbecues and summer is gone before we know it.
Autumn may be the perfect time. I’ve always felt that the Tuesday following Labor Day is the real start of a new year. In the days when we had children starting school, Keith and I would always go out to breakfast that first day of school, after dropping the kids off. A new beginning. Quiet once more. Perfect weather, not too hot, not too cold. Glorious color.
That’s not to forget that autumn marks harvest and if we garden or preserve food or stock the freezer, it is a busy, busy time. And when we begin to think of relatives coming from far away, we look at the walls and decide we must get a coat of paint on them. Many of us have to start making meals ahead for the family we will abandon for November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
All that to say, I couldn’t settle on the perfect season. I decided to put it to you. Give me your own pros and cons. Is there a season better for writing than another? What is the worst season for you? Do deadlines render this moot? Please chime in. I’m curious.