Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Whether the Weather

The weather has been a huge topic of conversation of late. To be fair, this is England, so the weather has always been a topic of conversation; it’s what we resort to almost before we even consider other subjects for smalltalk. 
I never really expected to be asked about writing and the weather, but, recently, I was. “How does the weather affect your writing?” I was asked.
“Crikey! I hadn’t thought that it did,” I said.
And then I began to back-pedal.
Of course the weather has an effect on my work, in fact, it influences not only the content, but also the amount of work I can produce, and even my writing practice.
Depending on the weather and the time of the year, I write at different times of the day in different rooms in the house. I could hardly be more influenced by the weather on any given day of the year if I tried.
I am not an outdoor person, and yet I suffer from SAD; that’s Seasonal Affective Disorder to the rest of you. There’s a whole serotonin/melatonin thing that renders me more-or-less useless in the winter, or, at least, it did, until I discovered tanning booths. I’m not particularly vain, and I’ve never been into the tanned look, but I do tan year round, now, and I definitely feel infinitely better for it.
In the winter, I sit in my very cosy drawing room with a log fire burning if I want to write. I sit in a big leather wing chair and wrap a blanket around my legs. I also turn on every lamp in the room.
In the summer, I sit in my very bright sitting room, under a pair of large skylights when I want to write, or I sit at my desk which faces North out onto the garden, so the light is delightful.
When I began writing this blog, I wondered what the lesson of the day would be, and here it comes.
If you want to be a writer, and if you want to be able to make a job of it, writing a decent amount under circumstances that might not always be entirely satisfactory, it can’t hurt to have a number of tried and tested coping strategies.
So, for me, that means having somewhere comfortable to sit that is very well lit. I don’t have a dedicated work room, for the most part my laptop is my desk, but I do have comfortable places to go to work that makes the writing easier... And you should find out where those places are for you, too.

1 comment:

  1. I suffer from SAD too, and our house is a help as all the main room face due South. I write in a room adapted for me last year, it has a good chair for my back and it's out of the way. It overlooks the conservatory, so it's set back so not too sunny, but the rain hammers down on the glass roof, the Atlantic winds rattle the window, the sun warms the single story roof...I have to choose scenes according to the weather, the darkest moments get written in the storms. Weather and day length seems to affect my mood more than almost anything else environmental.