I am a seasonal being. Very much like the trees, I have certain cycles to my year that match the lengthening and shortening of the days. Maybe it is because I am so close to nature – walking a lot outdoors, watching the birds, tending a garden. These rhythms not only affect my energy, thoughts and moods, they also affect my writing. As we head into Autumn now, here in the northern hemisphere, I have already started to feel myself withdrawing, processing what has been and seeing what has worked over the bright months, and what has not.
Whereas in spring and summer I had a lot of extrovert energy and did lots of socialising, networking and flirting, now I feel that my mood is changing: I am becoming softer, more solitary. I yearn to harvest, bake, create, make, nest. I want to gather my family and close friends around me in the comfort and cosiness of all that is safe. And as the leaves on the trees change colour and fall, I want to write and write and write…
It has been a mad rollercoaster of a spring and summer, where I became much more of an ‘outward’ person, tried new ideas and met new people. Through it all, good and bad, I learned a lot about myself and the way I conduct my life, and for that lesson, I am grateful. I have also had to face the devastating fact that, in the months to come, I am about to lose my dearest friend and constant canine companion, Poppy, to cancer. And there is nothing you can do to prepare yourself against such grief. Loss is probably one of the things I find hardest to deal with – but more about that in the next post.
My writing throughout the summer months has been about doing third-party work rather than words written from my own heart and imagination. However, now, as well as it being the time for harvesting berries and nuts, it also seems to be the time to bring to fruition the ideas and scenarios that have been growing in my head these past months; reaping the rewards of research and gathering in the new friendships I have made in the writing/historical world.
And so, as the swallows fly away for another year and the robin’s song changes to its winter tune, I shall be sat happily once more at my writing place, cradling a hot drink and finishing the rewrite of Despenser. It may not be as exciting, passionate or high energy as the summer experiences, but I will be happy – and that, in the end, is what counts – and what produces, for me, good writing.