Friday, March 16, 2012

A Season for Writing

One of my favorite books is called Touched by Fire.  In Touched by Fire, the author hypothesizes that those who suffer from bipolar disorder are more inclined to have the artistic temperament and be talented artists and authors.  Using case studies, she tracks famous artists, musicians, and writers through the ages and looks at their behaviors in order to conclude that such great minds as Van Gogh and Beethoven were fueled by bipolar disorder.  In my own practice as a therapist, I have also noted this trend.   I have noticed that sometimes the artist in people fades when their mood is stabilized with medication. 

What does this have to do with writing seasons?  If mood impacts creative drive, I have often wondered if the natural ebb and flow of my moods through the seasons couldn't impact my creativity.  We all tend to have mood shifts through the seasons.  Long, dark winters tend to bring a slight dip in mood.   With healthy people, this might just be felt as a little lethargy or sleepiness.  It could even be felt as a slight melancholy.   The warmer sunnier months tend to bring increased activity and mood.  I have spoken with other artists and writers who have told me they find themselves much more driven to create in the summer.  They ride their positive moods and high energy periods and are able to be more productive.  I find this is true in myself.  In the winter, I never get as much done as I do in the lighter seasons.    I have not researched this extensively and all of my evidence is anecdotal, but I still have to wonder if there is a season for writing?  Is there a time when writing is easier and more fluid or is every time the same as the next?

Even if there isn’t a season for writing, I find myself more inspired by bright spring flowers and bird song than the cold winter nights.   I also find fall and its vibrant colors an inspirational time to write.   So for this post I leave with a question, when is your season for writing?  Do you find your writing affected by the changing seasons or is one day as good as the next?
Jessica Penot


January Bain said...

Great food for thought, Jessica! I too have a writing season where my powers seem to be at their zenith but its not summer, it's winter when I am housebound at night and have more time to write, especially in the early mornings as I work as a teacher during the day. The power can ebb in February when the strength of the preceeding summer can wan, but it picks up for me a few weeks later and I'm off and running once more. Thanks for the blog and the think!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Enjoyed your post, Jessica. I actually love the cold winter days and evenings for writing - a good excuse to stay cosy indoors. But spring time makes me more inclined to enjoy the beauty around me.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Now that I write on a deadline, as most of us do, I must ignore the seasons. I'm thankful for the moody moments and can reimagine them by traveling back in my mind to the time I saw, heard, felt/touched, smelled and experiened another season. Writers aere blessed to be able to transport ourselves anywhere.

Maybe we are slightly bipolar -- but in a good way.