kicking the early spring blues

I have the bluesSomething about this time of year always puts me in a slump. It's hard to be productive. Dishes pile up, and don't even talk to me about the laundry. I get in this food rut where I cook the same three or four easy meals all the time. I tend to blame it on the weather, as if I'm just sick of darkness and cold, but we've had a lot of unusually bright, warm days here in the past month. I guess it's just my spring routine.

The most annoying part of all this is the affect it has on my writing. I've been making progress, but it feels slower. I still have those moments of inspiration that make me feel a lot better about my work, it's just harder to fit ideas together in a way that I'm happy with.

It took a long time to realize that this was a seasonal pattern for me, and this year I started paying more attention to the things that made me feel better, both creatively and in general. Most are fairly obvious "perk yourself up" suggestions, but I'm sharing them anyway. If nothing else, it'll be a reminder to myself for how to deal with this funk next year.
  • Do something fun on your own.
    I spend most of my alone time writing, reading, or taking care of things around the house. Going out by myself isn't something that I remember to do all that often, but it can be a nice change of pace. My favorite me-time treat is catching a horror movie double feature, I also love a lazy afternoon of hitting the local used bookstores.
  • Meet new people.
    Our friends are awesome and fun, but new people have a whole new set of interesting stories to tell. Go to a party with a friend whose social circle doesn't overlap much with yours. Strike up a conversation with a fellow regular at your favorite bar. It's not as intimidating as it may sound, and that little "ah-ha" moment of finding common ground with a stranger is a great feeling.
  • Make something with your hands.
    Working on a different type of creative endeavor can help me recharge my writing. I've been making jewelry lately, and crafting is a nice contrast from writing because it's more physical and visually-oriented. It's also an ego boost to wear something you made for yourself - especially if you get a compliment on it.
  • Read differently.
    It's tempting to stick with familiar authors and genres when I've got a case of the blahs, but I've found that diversifying my reading can help spark new ideas. I've been trying a lot of books that are out of my normal comfort zone this year. Nonfiction books have made me more concerned with backgrounds and world-building. Classics have exposed me to a wider variety of writing styles and story structures. Varying my reading has given me a lot to think about.
  • Write differently.
    When something about the book is giving me fits, changing up my process can help me find my way past the problem. Sometimes that means spending more time with pen and paper rather than a keyboard, but it can also help to write in a different location or even at a different time of day than I usually do. My biggest plot breakthrough of the past month happened during ten minutes of scribbling in my notebook while waiting to get my hair cut.
It's one of those lessons that I keep having to learn over and over, but changing my state of mind is largely a matter of changing my habits.  Shaking things up when I feel kind of down can be tough. I just have to keep reminding myself that it usually works.

It also helps that this motivation-sapping time of year is almost over.

photo by Nina Matthews used under Creative Commons

No Response to "kicking the early spring blues"

Post a Comment

share your thoughts:

 

Goodreads Quotes

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life." — Terry Pratchett

Words of the Day

Blog Archive

All content is Copyright © 2011 Donna Montgomery. All rights reserved.
Bueno template by Woo Themes, converted by Anshul, customized by me.