It’s the Time of the Season for Writing

Autumn in New England



The days shorten, the temperature drops. It’s turned colder in the Northeastern United States. Leaves are falling and winter will be here soon. It’s actually snowing as I write this post. It’s the time of the season for writing.

I don’t know about you, but I am at my most productive as a writer during the autumn and winter seasons. The days are shorter and it’s a great time to sit before the laptop and pound out a new story. I’m at my least productive during those bright summer months, when the beach beckons and there’s fun, fun, fun in the sun.

This post assumes that you are a writer with a full-time job. Full-time fiction writers often carve out four or five hours during the day to write and if I could afford to quit my day job, that’s what I would do.

I could not find any studies or articles on the impact of weather on fiction writing. There’s a certain logic to the theory that writers are more productive during periods of short days and inclement weather. If you can’t go outside, what better indoor activity is there than writing? Maybe that’s why Stieg Larssen was able to crank out the three books that comprise the best-selling millennium trilogy. There’s little sunlight during the dark winter months in his native Sweden.

I wrote 80 percent of the first draft of my first novel, Small Change, during the fall of 2007. It took me another six months to finish the first draft.

I’m also a more productive writer at night. Prime time for me is nine o’clock to midnight. A lot of writers say the only time they can get some uninterrupted peace to write is in the early morning. Some writers keep a faithful schedule of writing from four-thirty in the morning until whenever they have to get to work. I just can’t write in the early morning hours, probably because I’m barely awake. I don’t know about you, but
it takes a hot shower and a strong cup of coffee to get the old brain working in the morning.

Summer is a tough time for me to write. There are too many distractions and too much to do. It’s tough to pound away at the keyboard when the sun is shining and everybody’s outside enjoying themselves at the beach, pool, or the park. I did write a good portion of the first draft of my second novel, Color Him Father, from April through September, but I did most it late at night.

How about you? Is there any season when you are more productive as a writer? What about time of day? Are you a morning writer? An evening writer? Or does it matter?




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6 responses to “It’s the Time of the Season for Writing

  1. Inclement weather does get the imagination cooking. Here in FLA there is no snow and precious little cold but we do have rain and that’s my best time. I revel in a gloomy, steady rain. Before moving here (from LA) I thought a nice garret in London or a foggy hillside in Sausalito would be just right. I’m almost jealous…almost.

  2. Oh I am definitely a winter writer! I agree completely.. c

  3. Fall and winter are my strongest writing seasons too. I write best with quiet but if I write in the evening, it’s hard to turn my mind off to go to sleep.

  4. Your thoughtful post makes me aware of a question I hadn’t considered– am I more productive in the autumn/winter months because of the writing challenges I have found and set myself to, or did I warm to those challenges as a way to use the deep, slow productive energy that wells up when the light fades?
    I think maybe a little of both– but as for night or day, well, when I’m lucky enough to be consumed by a project, it doesn’t matter what time the clock reads.

    • Thanks for your comment. We got slammed with a freak snowstorm right after that post. Looks like we will lose power for a week. Serves me right for writing about weather. Thanks again.

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