How do you concentrate on writing when it’s 70 and sunny outside? How can you immerse yourself in a computer or notepad when it’s warmer than it’s been in years (read: months)? Why can’t the work just do itself while I have a few drinks with my friends on the roof?
It’s 71 degrees outside but the sun makes it feel like 85. There’s a breeze that brushes away just enough of the heat to keep the sweat from beading on your skin or making the shirt stick to your back. Sunglasses hide the top part of everyone’s face but the bottom half is always turned up in a smile. And it smells like grass and rain.
What that all means is that Spring is here. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but the weather in DC these past couple weeks has been amazing. It seems like the weather went from the 20s to the 60s and 70s overnight, and I’m definitely not complaining. For me the days have gone from “Winter is Coming? Winter is f***ing here already,” to “Hey, it’s 11am on a Sunday, let’s go get brunch at an outdoor bar.” (And if you don’t get the Game of Thrones reference from the first quote I feel sorry for you).
For me Spring means cold beer at a baseball game, getting off the Metro two stops early to walk outside for an extra twenty minutes, staring wistfully out windows, opting for bars with rooftops and courtyards, waiting excitedly for the pool to open (just a few more weeks!), looking at the bright green everywhere like it’s an alien color, taking my run from the treadmill to the sidewalks, moving from watching sports to playing them (but obviously still watching them too), and general happiness. Do I suffer from seasonal affective disorder? No. Shut up.
But what does this mean about writing? Writing is a solitary activity, but spring is a time for friends. Sure we can write outside, but sometimes that makes us want to end the session even sooner. So how do we stay on track?
This is something I’ve always struggled with. I find that my days are filling up more and more with activities: a baseball game Wednesday, an outdoor fundraising event yesterday, the Wizards playoff game tonight, a friend’s barbeque all day tomorrow… Not to mention working 60-70 hours a week.
The truth is that I don’t have a definitive answer to the question: “How do I stay on track when it’s this nice outside?” I still write every day, even though it’s a bit less than I used to, and that’s all I think I can ask for. It’s important to remember that we need to move forward, no matter what our goal is, but it’s also important to live our lives. It’s important to keep up our good writing habits, to always strive for our dreams, but sometimes it’s hard. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s supposed to be hard (and don’t even think twice about telling me that it isn’t).
We all have 20 minutes to write. And that’s 20 minutes more than 0. If we can find time to write for 20 minutes a day – even while working, and walking, and running, and drinking, and meeting friends, and playing, and partying, and sporting (don’t worry it’s a word) – then we’ve accomplished our goal. And we’ve enjoyed the spring too.
What about you? What’s your favorite springtime activity? Do you write less when the weather is nice? How do you stay on track? What tips or tricks do you have for those of us who might be having a harder time?