Seasons in Writing by Allison Symes

Image Credit:  Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.

Do you have seasons in writing? I don’t write to a season but I do have periods where I produce lots of work and other times when it seems, by comparison, I am “fallow”. I’m not. I’m usually developing ideas for writing up later or am editing a project. Neither of those show up well in terms of being able to point to something produced or a word count achieved.


But it is all writing. It all counts. This is why I don’t set a daily word count target. I set tasks to do and, for the larger ones, break them up into sections. The advantage of doing this is I always feel like I’ve achieved something for the good reason I have and that in turn encourages me to be even more productive.

It also allows for those times when life inevitably gets in the way and you have to accept your writing plans are on hold for a bit. I take the view as long as I try to get something written during those times, that’s fine. 


If I can’t, then it’s just one of those times, I need to go with the flow, and I’ll resume writing again as soon as I can. 

(A good tip here:  if you are lacking time to write much, (a) use whatever time you’ve got to jot down future ideas and (b) read. If not much time for that, read short stories and flash collections. Reading is reading and it can all help you top up what I’ve referred to before as the great imaginative filing cabinet. Okay, hands up, I write flash and short stories so am not unbiased but the point about reading remains. I will often read collections in the shorter forms between novels so I mix up the type of book I read - and that I think is good practice anyway).


Often when I’ve completed a lot of work, I find naturally I then write (and read) shorter pieces. It is almost as if I need “refreshing” again ahead of reading the next big novel and/or writing the next major bit of work. 

(Oh and putting flash collections together is a major bit of work. As well as checking the individual stories, I want to make sure they’re grouped together well so a future reader has an enjoyable and sensible “flow” of stories. Themes are grouped together too. It’s great fun to do but time consuming - and in many ways it should be as I want to get this right).


So ups and downs in writing happen then. One moment you’re on a roll, the next moment all you seem to receive are setbacks. All part and parcel of the writing life of course but it’s tough sometimes and takes stamina and supportive writing friends to help get you through that. (Naturally this is where ACW comes in!).  


Seasons in writing need to be recognised for what they are. They are just seasons. Seasons pass - including the rotten ones. What is encouraging though is writers generally are so supportive of each other and I know I appreciate the support I receive. So let’s face those seasons together. Writing does so much for us whether we write stories or non-fiction or both. It stretches us. It hopefully entertains and/or informs our readers and is so worth doing for that alone.

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