Dry Spells — Writing and Weather

Our spring warm-and-frosts killed off our state’s fruit tree blossoms. This summer has been  H-O-T and D-R-Y. The drought has nearly done in the corn, but for your tofu lovers, the heat has helped the soybean crop.

During one of my more philosophical moments last week, and after hearing complaints from people in my critique group about going through dry writing spells lately, and being fully aware of the unusual weather this summer, I started wondering how much our own psyche and writing is related to weather. I know that moon-cycles and tides have a physical effect on people’s emotions and behavior (ask people working in E.R.s or law enforcement). As a former teacher, I could tell you exactly when a storm was coming in by the squirrely antics of my students the day before, as the barometer jumped along with the kids.

Embrace your dry periods as a natural cycle of life of which you are a part. (Cue in Lion King’s “Circle of Life” song in background as you continue reading this post.) It’s okay to ignore that “Write every day” creed and trudge through a dry period. I give you permission. And now you can even blame the brain-suck on the weather! (Or on me.) Just don’t ignore your writing forever. Sadly, I’ve known some really excellent writers who have done just that.

I figured since I can’t think this summer, I should invest what little energy I have into physical projects. A few years ago, I took the wallpaper off the kitchen sopet near the ceiling. The wall was hard and smooth beneath, and although awkward to get to, the paper came off and the paint spread on rather fast and slick. So last week when I removed the wallpaper from the main walls of our kitchen, I discovered three different types of walling beneath the paper. As ugly as the wallpaper was, it covered a lot of uglier wall. So now, I no longer feel I have a blank pallet to work with and a fast house project to complete. Before me lies a time-consuming challenge. After staring at my ugly kitchen, writing suddenly seems extremely appealing. Hallelujah! I’m inspired to write again. Rats. I know it’s just my attempt to procrastinate the uglies. There’s nothing like needier projects (or visiting relatives) to sling you right back into the writing mood.

Embrace your dry times. Do something non-writing. And never give up.

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4 thoughts on “Dry Spells — Writing and Weather

  1. You’re hilarious – you need to post pictures of this “ugly” kitchen.
    I wonder how many other writers are having a DRY summer this year.
    And what’s my excuse – we had a disaster area flood for goodness sake!

  2. HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE MISSING WIDOW OF THE TREE CUTTER WHO FELL TO HIS DEATH LAST YEAR? WONDERED IF THERE HAS BEEN ANYTHING ON THE NEWS/NEWSPAPERS. SHE HAS BEEN MISSING ABOUT A MONTH.

    • Oh, Judy. I had not heard that. The two families I would know to contact are 1) moved away and 2) just had a death in the family. But I’ll try to remember to try to contact them. Oh, dear.

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