05 December 2011

Writing Cycles and Rest

I've been doing some reflecting on silence lately, and specifically how it and stillness relates to this Christmas/winter season. Just before winter truly hits, the fall rains move in; the sound a slow, soaking rain makes is melodic; I can't help but pause and take it in.

Those are such good days. They're book and fire days, or, more popularly in our house, living room-fort building days. Then, of course, the snow itself falls silently, and whatever the rain didn't mute, it blankets and holds in a sort of spell. The air is still; the birds only move when they need to; and the quickest thing around is smoke from nearby chimneys.

A sycamore in rest

I want this atmosphere around me to not only remind me to slow down, but to also be a kind of analogy for myself. A few years ago I discovered that the winter months are not the greatest in which for me to write. I suppose I realized my body actually does react to the weather; what I decided was that I should use that down time wisely and rest.

The creation does it; whole months are set aside to prepare for the explosion of growth in the spring and summer. Why not set this season aside (as much as you can), accept that you can't be as productive as you'd like all year long, and prepare yourself for growth in the warmer months? Perhaps it could be a time to reflect on what you have done to this point in your life, and what you'd like your legacy to be.

I know I've been thinking about these things lately, especially as it pertains to writing. Over the long break I get from school I'll probably work on this blog as well as my novel (You Come Too). But I'll also be mindful of the rest I need, and I'll be thinking about what kind of work I need to plan for my most productive times of the year.

I stumbled back to Ann Voskamp's blog the other day. Her post from 12/2 seemed particularly apt to my mood lately, and her posts labeled "The Year of Here" are great for reflection. Her posts are full of great pictures and inspiring words.

Her blog: A Holy Experience


cleemckenzie said...

So good to listen to what your body and your mind are telling you. When I don't I pay the price: get sick, get grumpy or both.

There is something beautiful about the chilly season when darkness comes early, indoors becomes cozy and the pace slows.

Thanks for the beautiful winter thoughts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Summers here are so draining from the humidity, I actually do write more in the winter. But I do like this time of the year - the cool air is refreshing.
Here's to slowing down!

Anonymous said...

I'm quite the opposite because summer heat and humidity are such a trial for me but this is good reminder that I don't have to feel guilty next summer when I am moving slow and feeling like doing NOTHING! It IS good to listen to your body and the change of seasons. Thanks for the reminder and beautiful words.

Man O' Clay said...

I don't like the heat either. Really, it's the early spring I like the most...the chill might still be there, but the green things are just poking their heads up - that's what gets me going.

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