The writing season

Seasons

As the season changes from summer to autumn, cloud by cloud and leaf by leaf, it’s a natural time to pause, reflect and savour that instinct to settle into a different rhythm. We can relish the freshness of a breeze after summer’s humidity, enjoy the earthy colours emerging around us – and, in terms of our creative life, take a long, deep breath.

“The changing season brings a new phase
of creative possibility.”

In our agricultural past, people and communities were deeply and inescapably connected to the ebbs and flows of the seasons. Fallow periods contrasted with high-energy phases, in line with the need to plough the ground ready to plant seeds, care for newborn lambs or bring in the harvest, as nature dictated. The year’s rhythms, and its lulls, were as familiar and foundational as our own breath, in and out. Of course, dependency on the seasons and the weather brought great uncertainty and, at times, suffering. But that connected way of life also offered an upside: regular (guilt-free) and sometimes lengthy ‘in between times’ that provided the opportunity to rest and recharge.

“The chance to pause can be both precious
and surprisingly productive.”

In today’s world those natural patterns have, for many of us, all but disappeared. For all the comforts and advantages of modern life it can feel as if we’re on duty 24/7. The space to reflect, allow ideas to settle and rest our busy brains can be hard to find. Yet for writers, the chance to pause for a while can be both precious and surprisingly productive. Gaps between paragraphs give greater clarity to the whole page, after all.

Top tipsĀ 

As the blackberries ripen and the acorns drop, here are three tips for taking advantage of the seasonal cusp:

  1. Do less. For a week, a day or (depending on your commitments) even an hour. Don’t be busy, just be.
  2. Breathe deeply. Savour the scents and the changing temperatures around you. They offer a gentle but unmistakeable gateway to the new season, a new phase of possibility.
  3. Play. Kick up leaves, search for conkers, jump in puddles. Play is a powerful driver for creativity… who knows how it might impact your work in progress?