Autumn is coming. Judging by the sudden cool-down here in MN yesterday and today (and tomorrow), it’s Mother Nature’s way of slapping us across the face with a reminder of what is to come. At least we didn’t get the snow Calgary did (boy, I’m glad I don’t live in Calgary!). Summer started late for us, and now the danger of frost on Saturday morning just makes me sigh. Half the tomatoes in the garden aren’t even ripe yet.
Weather aside, the blustery outdoors is an excuse to stay indoors and write. Weather like this, at least this time of year when we know the hard stuff isn’t coming for at least a month yet, brings many muses to my doorstep. Leaves change, pumpkins and apples begin to appear at roadside stands, and the sky has a particular hue to it when it isn’t hidden behind leaden clouds.
In response to a request from an agent I pitched to last weekend at the workshop, I’ve been revising a book I’ve left alone for a few months. My muse was at my side pointing out the little things that needed revision, and I realized how much better I felt after actually getting some writing done. Perhaps that’s the sign you are a real writer, a sense of peace within that comes from putting words on a page, or refining the rough spots in a work you’ve already put many revisions into.
Do you find the changing seasons inspires a surge in creative energy? For me the ups and downs of those transitional times between seasons reminds me how different each one is. I find that flux to be an active muse. Each day can be so different, and it’s the final “deep breath” before the busyness of the holiday season takes over the calendar.
If you’ve hit a moment of stagnation in your writing, step outside one evening at or before sunset and just be still. Listen to the wind rattle the leaves. Look at the sky and notice the subtle changes that hint at the seasons to come. Smell the sweet loam of fallen leaves soaked in rain. Feel the breeze warm against your skin, then cold with the next breath. Close your eyes and just be. Your muse will hover beside you for a moment, then poke you in a bid to drive you to the keyboard to write.