Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring Fever

By Annette Dashofy

Yesterday, as I stared at a blank computer screen, struggling to come up with a topic for today’s post, I decided to cheat. I threw it out to my Facebook friends, asking them what I should write. The result? Work vs. Spring.

Yes, after a very long, very cold winter, spring has sprung in southwestern Pennsylvania. Instead of record-breaking snowfalls, we’re now having record-breaking high temperatures. High 80s in early April? Hey, we deserve it.

But with sunshine and warm breezes calling to us, do we give in and head outside? Or apply some of that bum glue and stay planted in our chairs at our computers, hammering out prose?

I have to admit… After months of staring outside at several feet of white snow and stark gray, naked trees, the idea of staying INSIDE staring at black Times New Roman print on a white screen can’t compete with green grass, yellow daffodils and forsythia, and pink magnolias.

Yes, we must be professional about our writing. We must put in the hours at the computer and produce the work.

But… Don’t we need to refill the well? Don’t we need to experience life to write about it? Don’t we need to clear the cobwebs with a long, meditative walk?

Okay, call it rationalizing if you will. However, I feel a need to take advantage of a glorious, sunny day in April after being cooped up in my cave all winter long. It doesn’t mean I’m not working. I can solve all sorts of plot issues while out walking. I can observe all the sensual details of the sun on my face and the warm wind on my skin and USE that in my story.

And isn’t there a cliché about all work and no play?

So instead of reminding everyone to keep writing even when the weather turns nice, I’m going to encourage everyone to seek balance. Don’t miss out on the sunshine (didn’t I hear we only get about 100 days of sunshine a year in this part of the world? No wonder it feels so glorious.) But don’t get so wrapped up in spring fever that you stop writing completely.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a walk. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. There’ll be plenty of time to write then.


Laurissa said...

I agree with the notion of balancing work and play. However,I don't necessarily always follow through. You've inspired me to blend the two, today.

Joyce said...

I actually had to change into shorts yesterday because it was so warm.

This week I've been trying to spend several hours in the morning writing, or doing writing related things, then the afternoons are free to enjoy the weather. Of course, writing in the sunroom is pretty much like writing outside.

Alan Orloff said...

I've got Spring Fever bad, too. Luckily, my muse demanded that I take him to the driving range a few days ago. Hey, what could I do? I always obey my muse!

Jennie Bentley said...

Enjoy it while you can, because you know it isn't gonna last forever. Balance is important. How can we write about life if we never experience it?

Annette said...

Jennie, EXACTLY!

Yes, Alan, you must keep your muse happy.

Joyce, I broke down and turned on my A/C late yesterday afternoon. It was up to 81 degrees INSIDE the house and probably several degrees higher in my southern-exposure office with all the electronic gizmos running.

Laurissa, I don't always strike the balance I talk about either, but I keep trying.

ramona said...

I think Alan's muse wandered over to my house and has been whispering to me to go shoe shopping.

Annette, I walk every day, if I can. I consider it writing prep; getting out of the house really clears my mind. Sometimes I have to jog home before I forget the brilliant solution to a plot problem. Oddly, this always happens when I'm two miles away, never two blocks.

Patg said...

I wish I could blame everything on spring fever. I suffer badly from it every year. This year besides the sinus headaches I'm marketing, so I tend to be too exhausted to try to create. Oh well.
Excuses, excuses.

M Pax said...

Balance is not over rated. :)

Annette said...

Ramona, you need to invest in a small, hand-held digital recorder. Keep it in your pocket when you're walking and record all those brilliant ideas without interrupting your stroll.

Pat, sorry to hear about your sinus headaches. The marketing, though, is a necessary evil of being published. I look forward to the day when I can add it to my list of things to complain about! ;-)

So true, M.

Jemi Fraser said...

We have to enjoy life if we're going to write about it. Spring is not to be ignored! Enjoy :)