Why Autumn is the best time for writing
I can feel it, Autumn crisping the air, so I dragged the covers out for our bed and, just like that…
This is my favourite time of year, “Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness” roll in and the Autumn announces itself. Best of all its time for comfort and covers to come into the house. The Hygge craze may be less popular but I think there is nothing better than feeling a bit cosy. Its time for making rituals of comfort, like more soft furnishings and lighting my driftwood candle. Best of all, it will soon be time for scarf weather.
It may be the back-to-school sense in the air, but the beginning of September seems really inspiring to me. I know Gretchen Rubin writes in her books about habits, that September can feel like a new year. Perhaps particularly for parents, a chance to tackle goals with new vigour.
So, if your writing has slumped a little over Summer or if you have had to contend with a young’un or two in tow, how can Autumn inspire you?
Setting up your space to write is not always very easy. We are cramped for space in my home. But there is something about setting a scene that can help. This time of year, looking out of the window at a tree behind our house, to see it begin to change, causes me joy. Being mindful of my surroundings can really help me be creative. Even if it looks like I am staring out of the window, it helps to feel some sense of calm.
This may seem obvious by now, but I like to be comfortable. This Summer I have been changing in out of clothes, wearing shorts then cooling down and pulling back on cropped jeans, then a skirt to go to work. I mean, it’s just hard work. Out comes the Autumn uniform, sweaters and jeans, jeans and sweaters (with occasional dress for work). I think I am realising that anything can distract me, like being too hot. And irritable me does not do my best work.
Talking of new school year, it is a totally legitimate excuse to get new stationary. If you write in notebooks like me, this may mean a new selection. There may already be an owlish one waiting for use. I have a perfect excuse because as I continue my journey through The Artist’s Way Programme, Julia Cameron suggests having a creativity notebook to plot your creative goals.
The seasonal change between Summer and Autumn has become important to me in my writing. My protagonist is trying to hold on to a happy Summer, a happy family, but Autumn is coming quickly to disturb her and her family. It only occurred to me when someone else read my writing that throughout I characterise the woodland as a place for childhood. We are familiar with the idea of Autumn days representing our later life so I suppose these are the moments, the end of August and beginning of September, which inform my work-in-progress. Quite a philosophical time, really.
And while I write about my main character’s obsession with nature around her, I think it is the perfect time to add a bit of nature into your life. Collecting leaves and conkers, cooking apples and of course as many walks in the woods as you can manage. These are not just things for Instagram shots (though, friends, prepare for the spam) – they are also the most wonderful way of connecting to your inner creativity.
I am about to post more about “Artist’s Dates”, as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way but spending a few hours in nature, definitely counts as working on your writing. In fact, as Autumn eases on, I would call time in nature essential creative work.