Autumn has arrived in the north country. It’s not the peak of the colors, that’ll come in three weeks or so. But there’s enough color in the landscape to know summer is ending. And the nights are sometimes downright cold, even freezing.
You’d think all this praise for autumn would mean it’s my favorite season. Nope. Not true. That’s reserved for winter. Yes, winter, that white time of year when the temperature can and does drop below zero by thirty, even forty degrees. Even more surprising, it’s my favorite season in spite of the fact that I’m allergic to cold. (Yes, really, I break out in hives.)
Why so much praise for autumn, and why is my favorite season the only one in which I spend much of my time inside? It’s my favorite because I spend so much time inside. Because life slows down then. Because there are fewer social obligations.
It’s my favorite because I can write in the winter. And write. And write. And write some more.
So the question becomes… what to write during all those wonderful, quiet winter hours? That’s where autumn comes in. Because it’s the time of year when all things come to fruition, thus clearing the way for whatever comes next.
Every autumn I take stock of the accomplishments of the past year and plan ahead to the next one. It’s when I make course corrections or change course entirely. When I decide what about my writing is working and what isn’t. So that when winter and all those hours of useful silence arrive, I’ll be ready.
This is something every writer should do once a year. Not necessarily in the autumn but sometime. Most people instinctively know this. The problem is, many simply don’t do it.
Do it. Make the time. Because it’s the easiest way I know to organize your mind, your work and your writing. Once a year go wherever you go or do whatever you do when you need to think. Don’t bring any pieces of paper, or lists because there should be nothing between you and your thoughts. You’ll be amazed how things will fall into place and your career path will become clear.
Then put the seat of your pants on the seat of your chair and see how much you can achieve.