Spring Is Here


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?

8 comments on “Spring Is Here”

  1. THANK YOU for acknowledging that it is hard, and for allowing for time to live our lives, too. So often I read superior comments like, “If it’s important to you, you’ll do it” and “Well, you just FIND the time.” Personally, I’m having the problem that spring has NOT come around here (it was here for a day or so, now winter is back), so I’m too depressed to write (although I am managing some). My only suggestion is to say, “OK, I’ll write for X time or Y pages, THEN go out with my friends.” Have a beer on the roof for me!

  2. I’ve said this as a comment to a recent blog:
    At this moment life practically shove my writing on the back burner as it always happen during the good weather months. I rather take long walks, putter in the garden, and go vacation somewhere far than write.

    I need to think: There is time for that later on in winter time when I have no choice but to be cooped up and there is nothing better to do than write. Of course I will continue to make little notes whenever ideas come in my mind to be consulted later on if needed.
    For now I’m enjoying the sunshine and fauna and flora coming to life.

    Long time no see by the way.

  3. If we never live, we’d have nothing to write about! It’s easy to become discouraged by low word counts, but I agree – making time to write every day is key and forward motion, even really slow forward motion, always counts.

  4. For me, writing is a part of my self-care similar to brushing my teeth, having a relaxing bath or my morning oil-pull before coffee. I usually do my writing while I have coffee in the morning while my ideas are fresh, as I am just back from the dreamworld, and they flow from me easily and effortlessly. Whenever I put an “I should…” on my writing, I shut down immediately. I automatically no longer allow myself to “should” myself into anything. When I treat myself with respect and honor, I am in the creative flow~it feels so much better!

  5. What I like doing all during the warmer months is sitting on my carport (used as a covered patio) and watch the world go by. I’m more inclined to stay focused on writing at night. I think it’s because I can see anything out the window.

  6. I’ve been writing every day on my blog. It started out as a personal challenge, now almost 2 1/2 years later, I find something to write about every day. It makes me focus on one thing good, fun, or important to me to share with family, friends, and the world.

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