I finally finished Cloud Atlas this week, but it’s one of those books where now I need to process and think and research because David Mitchell packed so much into it. While I gather my ideas, I thought I’d share some thoughts on writing, especially in the winter.
A friend and I decided over drinks a few months ago that we desperately needed to start a writing group–some accountability to actually put the pen to paper and to bring the pieces living in our heads to life. We start next week. As I’ve been trying to prepare some work, I realized I’ve done quite a bit of writing in this space about winter. And then, serendipitously, another friend of mine sent me this blog post from the New York Times that starts this way:
In early winter, when the heavy rains come to the Pacific Northwest and we settle under a blanket of sullen sky, something stirs in the creative soul. At the calendar’s gloaming, while the landscape is inert, and all is dark, sluggish, bleak and cold, writers and cooks and artists and tinkerers of all sorts are at their most productive.
I do not live in the Northwest, but I live in a city where it seems I walk a half mile to get anywhere, bundled for winter as I have no car with an automatic starter or seat heaters. I now choose warmth over fashion and can really only wear boots in the winter, always have a winter hat in my bag and find my shoulders most often pulled up to chin while bracing the cold. Needless to say I prefer to hibernate and the lack of daylight only encourages this unsociable practice of mine. I also love the nod to Seasonal Affective Disorder in the article. (I finally bought a light therapy lamp this year.)
So, while you are waiting with me for warm days that seem so far away, read the article from the Times, join me and find your voice and your outlet: writing, painting, cooking, reading. Winter is the most acceptable excuse to stay in with some kind of delicious beverage and get lost indoors.