I used to always start a new book in the autumn, when nights became longer, trees began to bunker down for winter, and the chill air meant the blanket draped over the back of my writing chair would soon be in use again. While summer died a quick death, one of the ideas percolating on the back burner would burst into life and solidify into a story. I would write solidly every day, sparing little time for my allotment, (well, apart from the big dig and manure spreading!), and it was probably my way of dealing with any Seasonal Affected Disorder because there was simply no time to be SAD. The first draft would be finished early in the New Year with the snow falling all around me, and by the time the yellow daffodils trumpeted the imminent arrival of spring, rereads and edits would be well underway. That was my routine, tried and trusted.
I’m not sure when that changed, but it has, at least for this year. I began writing my current WIP in early summer. With the long school holiday, our holiday away, the allotment bursting with life and craving a lot of attention, the WIP did suffer a bit. It is now autumn and I’m two thirds of the way through the manuscript. Already one of the ideas that has been simmering on that back-burner is begging to jump onto paper, but I will have to make it wait. It is tempting to write just a couple of chapters, let the characters begin to speak, see how the story might work. But I’m resisting the temptation until the current WIP is finished. Or should I resist? Perhaps I should just dip my toes in the story.
It has been a very odd year for me and I don’t think writing ‘out of season’ has helped. Now I feel the pressure (completely self-inflicted of course) to finish this WIP as soon as possible, so that autumn isn’t too far out of the door before I begin the next story.
Do the changing seasons affect anyone else’s writing habits, or am I the only odd one?