Thawing Out

This was a freaking long winter. I don’t think anyone in the Northern Hemisphere will deny it, unless you’re in California. The weather has strange effects on people, and long, cold winters are especially problematic

I observed people on the train getting cranky with each other (I mean, more than usual), somber expressions in the stores, and perpetual looks of terror on people’s faces as they attempted to cross the streets, which were covered in thick layers of ice and snow that had accumulated over the weeks.

I’ve spoken to several writers and they all concurred with me that this kind of weather and psychological distress creates a malaise that makes us not want to write. Of course, this is not true for all writers and maybe for you it’s the opposite. Maybe for you, being trapped indoors results in the kind of productivity that doesn’t happen in summer , what with the beach calling out to you and whatnot.

While I have powered through the winter—in all sorts of ways—I do feel that the mental and physical stress of the season affected my output.

We’re finally crawling out of that snowy, icy, wintry cave—at least here in the mid-Atlantic area—and I’m revving up with my writing. I’m wrapping up a few smaller projects and working hard to complete a larger project, and I hope to jump on a couple of new things.

I hope that those of you who suffered through the horrible winter with me are similarly feeling the pall lift and your creative juices thawing out and flowing again. Does anyone want to share what kinds of things they’re working on, writing or otherwise?


  1. I’m writing my first novel, first of many I hope and I have decided that I will self-publish or at the very least publish through Amazon to get my work out. I sat dormant and stagnant far too long in my life,always putting off writing saying I’d do it when I have time. I have had time for almost 7 years now, not working and whiling away the time reading anf thinking about writing and then BAM it hit me…pick up the pen and paper and WRITE DAMMIT!!! and I have and I’m doing well…coming around to having the first draft almost completed. I have thought about other books now, and my brain is filled with so many ideas.
    I suffer SAD(season affective disorder) and most winters it’s hard for me to get motivated to do anything let alone write or anything else that requires thinking, planning and physical activity other than zoning out and reading or watching TV.
    This winter has been the WORSE for me, but through it all I managed to stick to a strict eating regimen, daily yoga and almost daily writing or some sort of plot or scene planning, backstory or research for my book. On my worse days I did only talk to myself…thinking of dialogue for my characters, what they would look like or imagine them thinking about what they would be doing. In short this winter I may have suffered through some of my worse SAD episodes ever but I did them fully involved and not once did I retreat within myself for days on end.
    This winter may have been the worse on record, but this winter I have learned something I never knew about myself….when I feel the worse, is when I need to put my mind to “getting it done.” A routine keeps my mind off of the winter blues and letting it get me into a funk….in short this winter I have discovered that writing may have always been my outlet or ‘cure’ for SAD and I just never took the time to “do it.”


  2. Yes, spring is finally springing 🙂 It doesn’t sound like we’ve had it as bad here in Britain as you have in the US, but it’s still nice to see the flowers and trees blooming finally, I definitely find that I write more in the warmer weather- I feel more motivated.


    • We’re still not seeing flowers here in New York, as it’s still been on the cold and dreary side. But at least the snow seems to be over (watch we get an April snowstorm now!). I’m glad that somewhere in the world, flowers are blooming. 🙂

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  3. Timely post! I was just thinking back this morning to how physically and emotionally exhausted I was in Feb. with all the storms, all the shoveling, all the roof raking, all the worrying about leaks. Almost to the point of feeling traumatized. I DO NOT want to go through another winter like this past one. As for its effect in my writing, I had been thinking that I might have only one book in me and that I should just get used to that. But then I started to revive, almost like a crocus pushing up through the snow. I got to thinking about two novels I had first drafts of and one started to pull. So I’m happily in research and world-building mode. At least until next winter.


    • I’m so happy for you, Elaine. It’s pretty horrible when you hit that bump in the road that makes you feel that you’ll never write anythign ever again (or write a particular thing every again). I’m glad you got past that.

      And don’t worry about the typo–we all make them, even in these here blogs.

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