It’s a season of growing dark, dropping temperatures, and more pumpkin spice than the entire internet can shake a stick at. It’s also one of my favorite writing seasons. All the things that make fall such a special time of the year fuel my habits.
Physical Limitations Lifted
The older I get, the less I like the heat. Since I still love tea and coffee – but can abide neither cold – I have even more reason to hate high temperatures. Physical conditions affect writing. It’s true for me, it’s true for you, and it’s true of everyone who has settled their fingers on the keys and prayed for words.
Autumn means I’m able in a very practical sense to focus on my work and accomplish more projects. I’m also in a better mood, most of the time, because I’m not swimming in sweat. This is good for writing.
If any of these frustrations sound familiar, maybe consider revisiting a project you had to put down in the summer, or embrace a new plot bunny for the season. Stretch your fingers and see what you can do.
The previous point leads into this one. While I often sit down sometime in June, look at my New Year resolutions and swear, I’m rarely in a place to do anything about them at that time. Autumn is like the second wind after a long day (and these past couple years have had some really, really long days).
With only a few months left before the vicious cycle of over-estimating my focus and free time begins anew, I take stock of practical restrictions and potential wins. So, I wanted to finish that novel? Maybe I could try NaNoWriMo to help accomplish that goal. How are my word count aims shaping up? Should I reconsider those?
Analyzing how the rest of the year has played out, what I’ve learned, and what’s currently in my power also affect my revamped resolutions. If I just got a stack of freelance assignments in, then I don’t schedule long-weekend writing retreats. If I’m in a creative rut, I go looking for something fun to write. Fortunately, this is the perfect season for that.
While I have many sources of inspiration, I love going to themed events. I’m near multiple Renaissance/Medieval festivals, and I live in the throbbing heart of haunt country, so I’m spoiled for choice from the beginning of September to the end of October. I go out and I plop down with a notebook while the scents, the scene, and the ambience fuel some prose.
Is this how you’re supposed to enjoy a festival? Maybe not. But I’m a writer, and people just have to deal with that.
If you don’t like turkey legs or ghouls, you should still be able to find harvest festivals and fairs. I highly recommend people-watching at these venues. Taste something new. Reacquaint yourself with straw, and dirt, and the howls of a stiff breeze. Should none of these activities appeal to you, at least treat yourself to a long walk. It’s the perfect season, and if you look around, you’re bound to find something interesting.
What does fall mean for your writing life? Share your thoughts with other writers in the comments below!