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.