There are seasons in every writing project.
Spring: Ideas burst forth, and everything feels possible.
Summer: You’re on a creative roll and writing on a regular basis.
Autumn: You start to sort out what you’ve written and figure out where you’re going next.
Winter: You rest—tired from your efforts, fearful of next steps, or replenishing your energy so you can finish your project.
Shoulder seasons—spring and autumn—are those that fall between the high and low seasons of summer and winter.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, autumn is a true shoulder season. The hot summer days are behind us, and the winter rains haven’t yet set in. It’s cold enough in the mornings and evenings that I light a fire in the woodstove, but warm enough at midday that my sheets can dry on the line. I appreciate the daily fluctuations.
Using the seasons as a guide can help you work with the ebb and flow in your writing. The seasons aren’t right or wrong—they just happen.
Don’t judge yourself for losing steam—you might be in the autumn or winter of your project. It’s a good time to sort through what you have, create a map, and build up your energy so you can power through.
Autumn and winter are a great time to adopt an editing mindset, when you embrace revision and renounce perfectionism.
Rest assured that spring is coming again. And if you want some tips on how to reignite a feeling of spring in your writing, I’ve dropped a link in the comments for you.