Diary Entry: The Seasons of Writing

I’ll be honest – this post snuck up on me, and I’m so sorry if it rambles at times. I really thought I had one more week to take care of it, and with so much on my plate right now, I didn’t know when I would fit it in.

Well… I didn’t, really. It is nearly 10 pm the night before this post is supposed to go live, and I’m just starting on it. I’d much rather be sleeping. I spent 6 hours working in my garden today. My knees hurt, my hands are starting to hurt, and tomorrow is a busy day.

And I had no idea what to say to you wonderful readers here, because the truth is, other than my obligatory (and often, overdue) articles for Fantasy-Faction, I haven’t been doing so great on the writing front lately.

Some of it is that I simply haven’t made time to write – there’s always something else to do. Either something that needs doing, or just something else I’d rather be doing instead. But I’ve also started to notice some patterns to my lack of creative time. 

You see, I garden. Literally. But Oklahoma has two evils: clay soil, and bermuda grass. Both of these things make gardening difficult, both in keeping soil from compacting into bricks (HA!), and in weed control.

So my spring and summer usually consist of trying to grow food (also known as: copious amounts of tomatoes), trying to keep the bermuda grass from overtaking the garden, and keeping chickens from overheating in our humid, hot weather.

Oh, I didn’t mention the chickens earlier, did I? Yes, I have those, too. In case you don’t follow my personal blog and already know this. 😀

So this is what I’ve been learning lately:

Every part of life consists of seasons, they don’t always coincide with each other.

seasons-158601_1280

Spring and summer are my busiest times of year. There is planting and harvesting, and preserving the harvest, let alone trying to write on top of that. The second session of Camp NaNo started July 1st, and I have written a grand total of one day, with about 1,000 words.

And then I spent SIX HOURS in the garden today, because if I wanted any more summer crops they had to go in or we would be cutting it too close to the (estimated) first frost date.

Gardening has been a learning experience in itself this year, too, because we’ve had record amounts of rain. I knew how to deal with drought. I have no idea how to deal with too much water. I never thought I’d be digging a drainage ditch in the garden.

On top of all of this, we’re also raising baby chickens. All of our current laying hens are 3 years old, and they’re just slowing down. It’s time to bring some *ahem* fresh meat into the rotation.

They’re adorable, but definitely starting to reach the ugly teenager phase.

I’m anticipating the first eggs from them by Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas… what I’ve definitely learned is that autumn and winter are my writing seasons.

It helps that NaNo arrives with autumn. Since I run the local chapter along with Ferret Michelle, it jump-starts me back into writing even if it’s been several months since I last worked on a project. And this year, I don’t have to build a chicken coop in the middle of it all!

There is something magical about the Christmas season – even in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, I can still find inspiration wherever I look for it.

So the moral of the story is…

If you find yourself too busy to write at times – even extended periods of time – it’s okay.

Your stories will still be there waiting for you. Just don’t forget about them. You’re the only one who can tell them, after all.

But if you don’t live, how can you tell stories, anyway?

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5 thoughts on “Diary Entry: The Seasons of Writing

  1. When I’m not actively working on something I don’t like to think of it as “I’m not writing.” I like to think of it as “I’m plotting” or “I’m doing first-hand research.” Because really the stories never stop percolating up there in the old brain, do they?

  2. I’ve put myself on a writing hiatus for two years. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll go back to it or just do covers. Either way, my goal is to enjoy how I spend my time. I’ve worked for “da man” since I was 13 years old. Now that I’m retired, I want to do what I want to do.

    Re: clay soil
    We had horrible clay soil when I lived in east Texas. In north Texas, it’s hard pan soil. The best thing you can do is to start a compost pile. It took me three years but I’ve finally improved my entire garden. In the winter, mulch the garden with a thick layer of compost. By spring, when you till it under, you’ll be surprised how much improved the soil will be. It’s not an instant process. Like I said, it took three years of compost to get the soil soft and loamy, but if you’re diligent, it’ll repay in spades.

  3. I know what you mean about writing and it coming in seasons. For now, I’ve been on a hiatus so I can focus on my homework. Come October, I should be able to his the keyboard again without an essay or three dozen to write. Not sure if I’ll be participating in Nano this November or not, but we’ll see. One way or another, there are big changes coming.

    Do what Maria suggests for your garden. When you prepare it for winter, till the dead plants in then mulch it good. It will take a few years, but in the mean time, work some manure and a bit of sand for drainage in to help plants.

    If you ever want some extra help, I can lend a hand, too, around the garden. I may not be quick or strong, but I’m not afraid of honest hard work to refresh a frazzled, homework-filled, mind. Only payment I ask for is good conversation.

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