I’ve got to be honest, I struggle a bit with winter. I like the idea of it – you know, on paper (or better still, in films) – I mean, there’s snow and steaming hot chocolate and crisp clear days where you see almost forever. And December has Christmas (not to mention my birthday) which is always lovely. But other than that, winter often seems dark and dead; a time when not much is happening and I find myself wishing it was spring already. Longing for the days to get lighter and for the weather to warm up and for blossom to start appearing on the tree in my garden. Waiting.
Quite a lot of my time as a writer is spent waiting too. Sometimes, I’m waiting for an idea to grow from a tiny seed into something I can nurture. Other times, I’m waiting to hear back from my agent or a publisher about a project I’ve been working on. And then there are the times I am waiting for a book to be born. I’ve been waiting A LOT in the last year. The trouble is, I’m not very good at it. Like with winter, I want the waiting to be over so I can get to the good bit.
Recently I was on a retreat with loads of other fab authors and one of them was the amazing Kelly McKain. She ran a session about a new way of working she had found, one where she spent a lot of time outside in nature, waiting for ideas to come to her instead of trying to force them to appear. Kelly said that she thought of this process as being a bit like winter – where it seemed on the surface as though everything was dead but actually lots of things were happening underneath. And that reminded me of snowdrops, which grow on seemingly barren ground and seem to appear out of nowhere at the coldest time of the year. They are one of my favourite flowers, not just because they tell me that spring is on its way but also because they remind me that winter has a purpose, and so does waiting. It’s a time for gathering all your strength together, for conserving energy so that you can use it to burst out in spring and wow everyone with your brilliance. So that’s my plan, especially as Completely Cassidy: Accidental Genius is out in less than two weeks.
Isn’t that a better way to see waiting\winter, instead of wishing your time away? What do you like about the winter months?