The best thing about January, no matter the weather, is that the countdown to summer is on. In December summer seems eternally distant with ever shrinking days. January comes and the days promise to get better, slowly growing longer. I don’t suffer from SAD but summertime is just the BEST.
Of course spring comes first and brings energy, life and light to the world. Seeing grey/brown twigs suddenly dotted with green buds fills my senses and I can’t help but feel positive. Blue and green are the colours of life. Deep sigh.
My most favourite and productive time to write is May and June – magic happens! Let me explain. There is a huge, ancient oak tree in my neighbours garden. When spring arrives the branches fill with bright green leaves that darken as the months progress. From one of my bedroom windows the leaves are pretty much the only thing you can see when sitting on my side of the bed. As the sun sets behind the tree during these two months the leaves are illuminated by the most amazing, magical, golden light. The children go to bed and I sit next to my nightstand and write in the glow.
It’s a golden time for writing and getting down all sorts of ideas, not just what I might be working on at the time. I can write pages and pages and pages. Something about this special time of day allows me to write with abandon – new concepts, old memories and dreams, all captured longhand in one of the (many) notebooks I keep by my bed.
During these times I try to write without conscious thought like automatic writing. When I’ve exhausted an idea it can feel like I’ve woken from a dream. When I read back what I’ve written it’s like I’m seeing the words for the first time. I can’t begin to explain what an amazing feeling I’m left with. It’s a real buzz, I’m so exhausted and satisfied at the end of a session – like skiing: exhilaration and thrill from an all consuming activity.
Another way I capture ideas is to dictate them into my iPhone using Siri. If the notes are worthy of keeping I back them up to Evernote. This has been particularly helpful to me over the last fortnight as I’ve had flu. I was able to capture almost all the weird ideas a 40˚C temperature gave me! I had very little energy to sit in front of a computer let alone look after two children. It has been helpful to just talk at my phone, empty my head and review later.
Finally, I got the best Christmas present from my lovely husband. Time. He wasn’t aware of the gift until I unwrapped it – it’s become a little tradition for me to organise a gift on his behalf. It reduces stress and I’m never disappointed. This year my gift is an entire weekend to do nothing but write without distraction. Bliss!
IMAGE: I could have added a pic of the squirrels in the oak tree but they are a nuisance so I opted for Pootle the Owl sitting in his fir tree which is just behind the oak tree (you can see the luminous leaves in the foreground). We’re not sure which tree he actually lives in but he is sometimes noisy and always very cute.