Everybody has a time of year that they look forward to. Animals look forward to spring because of the thawing of winter’s snows; students and teachers look forward to summer because of the couple of months of freedom; farmers look forward to the harvest because it is when they reap the bounty they sowed; and children look forward to winter because of the gifts they receive. The beauty of the changing seasons is that there is something for everyone. This being the case, we wanted to find out what season was preferred by writers.
In a recent poll we conducted, we found that 48% of writers preferred the season of fall. This compared to 35% who preferred the winter, 11% who favored spring, and 6% who voted for summer. Honestly, as the results poured in, we weren’t as surprised as we thought we’d be. We knew the contest would be between fall and winter; we didn’t realize it would be so overwhelmingly in favor of those two.
Fall is a time of change. The trees shed their leaves as they prepare for their yearly slumber. The monotonous green of summer is replaced with the dazzling spectacle of fiery reds, oranges, and yellows. As the leaves fall, the dense majestic foliage is replaced by the bare bones of sturdy trunks. We see the world without any pretense, without any disguise.The temperatures begin to drop, and people increasingly find themselves herded into the warmth of their homes.
Winter was the second most popular time. Like fall, it is a time where colder temperatures send people indoors. This would beg the question as to why more writing doesn’t take place during winter. Although more time is spent indoors, winter tends to be a time of family. Snow days from school, blizzards that keep you home bound, and holiday festivities tend to get in the way of writing, but only by a bit. It’s no surprise that many writers find winter a magical time to write. The world, like their novels, becomes a blank white canvas upon which to write their stories.
Spring is beautiful. Spring is inspirational. So why is it not a more popular time for writing? After discussing the last two seasons, it seems obvious. After so much time indoors, most people are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to emerge from hibernation. There are kites to fly, hikes to go on, flowers to smell, and sunlit warmth to feel. Granted, all of the inspiration of this beautiful season gets a writer’s imagination going, but there are just too many other things to spend so much time in front of a story.
Last comes summer. With only 6% of the vote, one wonders why a season synonymous with freedom and relaxation does not breed better writing. The answer is that it’s miserable. Granted, we may be a little biased about summer (in case the image above didn’t give that away), but there is a lot to be said about the need to be comfortable while writing. It can be difficult to focus while sweat is dripping down your face, your fingers are sweaty on the keyboard, and you’re always one sip of water away from massive dehydration. Again, maybe overkill, but summer is a time of vacation, of swimming, of lazing in the sun. For all the fun that it is, writing is also work. Sometimes, writers need to disconnect their brain from their story and take some time to enjoy things like reading or family trips. They must also keep their eyes open for the next oasis, while counting down the days until the glorious temperatures of fall return.