As the leaves turn yellow and begin to fall, writers rub their hands with glee. The nights get longer and the days shorter, and writers smile and chat about all the work they’re going to get done. The weather gets colder and a writer will chuckle with excitement and anticipation of the stories they want to write.
So why do writers love the autumn so much? What happens in the summer to make them so happy that the leaves are falling? What does it mean to be a writer in autumn?
A writer in summer
All writers are the same in the summer. We know that social convention means that we should be outside, enjoying the weather. We know that we should be running down the streets in swimwear and having water fights with local youths. Writers desperately want to sit in the garden and watch the flowers grow, or walking in the park to take in all the fresh air and nature that summer promises.
For those writers who love the activities above, summer is a great time to be outside, but it’s not a very productive time. The great outdoors means that writing takes a back seat, and we just don’t get as much done.
However, writers are also aware that they don’t look great in swimwear, and running down the street in it is likely to get them arrested. The police aren’t keen on grown adults having water fights with children, and the local youths have filled their water pistols with washing up liquid at best, and urine at worst. Flowers don’t grow very quickly, and watching them is boring and will probably lead to dehydration or skin cancer from too much sun exposure. The park is littered with dog dirt and the fresh air isn’t all that fresh thanks to the bypass that the council just built through the green space.
For some writers, social convention in summer means a lot of effort. Instead, we sit at home and open up the computer, try and get some writing done, but soon get too warm because the air conditioning isn’t working and there isn’t any breeze on days like this. So we just don’t get as much done.
A writer in autumn
The nights are getting longer, and the days are getting colder. A bitter wind blows through the town, and clouds gather a lot more than they used to. When the rain falls people are forced to stay inside, the garden has stopped growing, and the leaves are falling from the trees.
For writers, this is a great time of year. We can put the heating on, or huddle around the fire, with a notebook on our laps or a laptop on our knees. We can put together a good routine, not distracted by the outside. You can focus on the next deadline. The cold wind outside means that we can put on thicker clothes and do all of our shopping online – because who wants to go outside anyway. Hot chocolate becomes a necessity, as chicken soup at lunchtime.
Most of all, because the outside world isn’t vying for our attention, we can sit in front of our stories and really get some work done. Stories start to form, and the words just fly onto the page. Productivity is high, and we just love what we’re writing. Without the distraction of the outside world, we just write.