It’s February here, our coldest month, usually. I have yet to experience a winter where the temperature doesn’t dip to -30 at least once. So far this winter we have been spoiled with how mild things have been. It was pretty nice...
Anyways, we’re having our cold week now. It started yesterday, and will continue to the weekend. What could this possibly have to do with writing? Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, where lifestyle and weather don’t impact our productivity. I love writing. However, I have a rich and fulfilling life outside of writing, too.
One thing I do is keep horses. My previous occupation was riding instructor, and I trained horses, too. I still have my fluffy companions living here at home with me. It’s a mixed blessing, to be sure, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It also means I’m out in the cold no matter what, making sure they’re okay. I can take them into a heated barn, but that adds hours to my day in chores, so we leave that for the worst weather. As long as they’re wearing the right blankets, they’re good as low as -40, as long as there’s no wind.
Still, it can be stressful living on an acreage or small farm when the temperatures drop low. Will the waterlines freeze? Will the furnaces keep running, and keep the buildings warm enough?
With the added stress, it can be harder to sit and write. Instead of adding to my stress, I decided to sit and write as much as I could normally, without aiming for my usual word counts each day. I’ll sit and write whatever scene(s) I want and only for as long as I feel focused and good. If it’s a few thousand words, excellent. If it’s a few hundred words, I’m okay with that this week.
I’ve reached the awkward stage in writing for the fourth forest guardians book, too. It’s between 35 000 and 50 000 words, I find that’s the hardest stage of the book to write. The necessary scenes are usually done, and now I’m adding in the fun and the challenges. Having this stage during a stressful life event (the cold snap) simply means I’ll keep my focus on the fun of writing, and not concern myself with productivity.
Sometimes things happen. People get sick (or animals), weather changes, sometimes world events change things for us, or other unforeseen events occur. Sometimes we push through. Other times it’s better to relax and give ourselves a little slack. This week for me is a slack week, for sure!
Oh, and the ever expanding flock of sparrows we feed has been hungrier than normal. They make it through these cold snaps just fine, with the additional seed we give them and the doves and the flicker and woodpecker.
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.