Have you ever thought about when your best time to write is? No, I’m not talking about morning or evening – I’m talking about which months, seasons, time of year. I hadn’t, and it took me a very long time to realise how much trouble I was causing myself because of it. The seasons have a profound effect on peoples’ headspaces. It only makes sense that it would effect their productivity too.
Every year, roughly the same time, I become almost incapable of being creative or keeping up with blog posts, and I’ll often disappear from social media too. Gone, without a trace. Beloved projects left abandoned and languishing, despite my love for them or the craft never faltering. So what gives? Until last year, I had never really put together that this always seems to happen in the summer. As soon as I did, everything about it suddenly made a lot more sense.
If you follow my account over on Twitter then you will have likely heard me whining about the heat during the summer months. Even when I was back home in the Highlands I would struggle with summer. I really don’t do well in the warm and am prone to heat stroke on the bad days and just general fatigue and headaches on the good days. As such, it makes sense that my productivity in terms of hobbies would plummet. As much as I love writing, it is unfortunately not my day job and I have a 9-5 I need to keep up with regardless of the weather. Using up all my energy for that leaves me with nothing left when I’m done during the summer months. I’m honestly shocked it took me so long to see the connection.
It brings me back to a point that I’m sure I’ve made before and will probably make again. One of the most common pieces of writing advice is “write every day.” I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment but not the phrasing. I believe that it’s perfectly fine to take breaks and often it’s necessary as well. So many times I’ve burned myself out over the summer by pushing too hard after expending all my energy at the day job and I’m sure others do it too, whether they are fellow heat-haters like myself, suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter, or any other slumps that occur internally or externally. Punishing ourselves for not keeping up with a set standard isn’t making us better writers, it’s just making the process harder.
So while it is my personal belief that writing often and consistently has made me a much better writer, I don’t think that writing every single day is essential. I also think it’s important to look at how you handle different times of the year and figure out which months are your downtime months and which ones you can push it. For me (excluding any big life things that might pop up), early spring and late autumn especially are where I shine. Figuring out when your best writing months are won’t only help you plan your work, but it’ll help you not beat yourself up when you need the break, help prevent burn out, and help make sure you’re ready when you get back into a good spot.
Do you know when your best time of year to write is?