You know winter. That time of year when the winds howl and slushy white powder falls from the sky to pile up in the driveway, while meanwhile our toes turn to chips of ice.
Unless, of course, you live in Florida, where I currently live. In my case, winter means two or three days of temperatures skimming the 40s, days which nobody seems to see coming and greet with utter panic. People gripe about dusting off closed-toed shoes and go around wearing their Snuggies as capes since nobody has any winter coats. It’s a little silly.
Whether your winter lasts for months, weeks, or days, there are certain tactics you can employ to make it more bearable. Read and take note.
Step Two: Work from home. Although it feels good to go to the coffee shop to work a few days a week so that you don’t completely lose track of the outside world and start acting like that woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” it’s important to realize that all of these reasons are invalid in winter.
Baby, it’s cold outside. Stay home in your fuzzy socks.
Step Three: Use seasonal inspiration. Since snow, ice, wind, and freezing rain are on your mind, use them as fodder for winter-themed anecdotes, symbolism, metaphors, and themes. I’m sure that’s what happened with George R. R. Martin. Had he started writing his first Game of Thrones book in summer, it all might have been different. We’d all be reading A Song of Surf and Sand instead.
You just never know.
Step Four: Write, write, write. Buckling down and doing the work is often the biggest hurdle for every writer, and struggles with complacency and distraction are the same no matter the season. Perhaps the struggle might seem even fiercer in winter, however, when we’re at home bundled up with a warm drink, feeling cozy and lethargic.
The struggle is an important one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the writer’s job market will grow 3% from 2012 to 2022, meaning not only more writing jobs but also more competition than ever.
So it’s best to stay at the top of your game.