Writing through Winter – Fighting the Winter Blues

hnovak Blog

Snow-storm-meme-630x472Michigan is not very friendly come January and February!

They’re definitely the two most difficult months to get through. The holidays are over and we’re left with subzero temperatures and the constant pelting of snow. It’s why I always schedule myself a vacation to see the family in Florida sometime during these two months! (It doubles as a read-a-thon.)

I’m sure it’s no surprise that it’s difficult to start a project mid-January. For the last few years, I found if I started a brand new book during this weather, it was vastly different than one I started in any other season. Having my characters constantly talk about how cold they are isn’t exactly riveting. But, this spring, I’m preparing for the release of my self-published series: The Lynch Brother Series. Which means, guess what? I have to write in winter.

I knew the winter-writing-slump was on its way, so I took some precautions. 1) I started the first two chapters of the book in fall. I got the characters on paper and notes on where I want the story to go. 2) I’ve got to be extra careful about the burnout. It comes quicker in winter because I’m already cold-cranky. 3) writer friends! I have “writing sprints” with friends across the globe, thanks to Twitter. We do “1k/1hours”, “how many words can you write in thirty minutes”, and at the end of it all “how many pages can you edit in 30 minutes”.

These little tricks have kept me going. Number two is by far the most difficult. As a writer with a 50 hour a week day job, there are days I get home where the thought of sitting at a desk again is revolting. So I scheduled in nights where I put on an episode of Gilmore Girls and eat some chocolate. Then while I’m writing mid-pout, I remember that my fun-filled-television night is just around the corner.

It’s not a foolproof plan — I still sometimes pass out in my computer chair from exhaustion. But I’m getting less work-a-holicy and more dedicated-smartly.

What are your tips to beat the winter writing blues?