Seasons of Inspiration

Tornado Warning

Image by RaGardner4 via Flickr

Here in Indiana, weather is…unpredictable.  The calendar may say that we are firmly in the spring season, but nature has its own ideas.

Last week, I…

…hid in the basement during a tornado warning.

…took pictures of hail pelting my car.

…pulled on my fuzzy boots because it snowed. Again.

…woke up in the middle of the night as a thunderstorm rolled in and I thought a tree crashed through my roof. (That’s happened before.  Twice.  So, you can understand my paranoia.)

…basked in beautiful sunshine as I ate my lunch outside, to the delight of my sun-starved skin.

It’s both awe-inspiring and humbling to see the influence that nature has on us and how we in turn, respond to it.

I have been working on a couple of Works In Progress now, which isn’t as confusing as it seems since they’re so different and are at different stages.  My first WIP is in a revision stage, and honestly, I plan to focus on it more this month than my second WIP, which is only in the rough draft stage.  So even though first WIP gets more of my structured writing time, I still let my muses play with second WIP during random times like driving to work or while my store is empty.  That’s the beauty of a rough draft: unbridled creativity and imagination.

My first WIP, I started writing in the fall during NaNoWriMo.  It’s dark and disjointed and looking back, probably reflected the madcap emotional turbulence of both NaNoWriMo and working through two retail jobs during the holiday season.   My second WIP was born on a bitter morning, the bleak winter landscape a perfect setting for a character filled with the helplessness, anger, and resentment that biting, sub-zero temperatures can create.

This week,though, something odd happened as I drove to work.  Well, two things really.  First, because of extremely gusty winds (I’m talking blow-you-into-the-next-lane-without-warning gusts), I ended up driving 5-10 miles under the speed limit.  (No comment on my normal driving speed.)  Second, I realized that I was dreaming up words for another WIP.

Now, this bout of inspiration didn’t just happen.  The WIP my muses brought to mind is one that I’ve had in the back burner for basically my whole life, but I have never dared to capture it in words.  My current WIPs were born out of fun ideas that I followed to their inevitable conclusions.  They are exercises in my mental stamina and discipline to finish a task. This other WIP, though…it’s different.

This WIP (which for clarity we’ll call third WIP) matters the most to me because it encompasses all of my unspoken fears, hopes, loves, dreams.  It’s basically a straight window into my soul.  As such, even thinking about it both inspires me and intimidates me.  I’m too emotionally invested in it, which is why I never felt like I can write it the way it needs to be written.  The way it deserves to be written.  So, I’ve gotten used to just ignoring it.

But then, the wind whipped just right and I imagined a curling wave.  The humidity and warmth reached a specific threshold and I delighted in memories of tropical sun showers.  My cautious wariness of other cars brought to mind the winding road to Hana (on Maui).

Now, I can’t help but wonder: should I follow my muses into this third WIP?

SO TELL ME: I know writers find inspiration everywhere, but do YOU have seasonal “moods” when it comes to your WIP? Do YOU find yourself reading a book or genre during specific times of year because it “felt” more like summer or winter?

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13 thoughts on “Seasons of Inspiration

  1. stickynotestories says:

    Weather can have a huge impact on what I’m working on. In fall I think of PT, because it takes place around Halloween/Samhain. In winter and the beginning of spring I always think of Fie Eoin (especially when the wisteria bloom, because wisteria is the sacred flower of their goddess). Late spring/summer makes me want to write BoS or the few unnamed WIPs I have lying around.

    As for reading I like the fun/easy reads for beach books, and the big thick tomes for curled-up-with-cocoa book 🙂

    • Liza Kane says:

      Yay! I SO read the same way! Fluffy James Patterson types for the summer; War and Peace for the winter 😉

      And, I’m So happy that you all are affected by the weather too when it comes to writing! I was beginning to think that I had ridiculous ADD recently, because my muses would keep wandering to another WIP…now I feel like it’s normal, and just have to buckle down and create a better schedule so I can focus on whatever my priority is for the moment!

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. AR says:

    Our mind is as dynamic and adaptive( at the same time) to the surroundings. Seasons definitely inpire one to read or write a particular thing. It is this quality that renders beauty to literature.

  3. Gina Blechman says:

    I don’t find that nature effects what I read, but I do think it effects when I write. Now, generally, I’m always writing, during any of the spare time that I have, but I find myself most inspired on those beautiful spring/summer/fall days when temperature’s just right and there’s a slight wind and all the little kids are out playing on their lawns and the insects are buzzing and the birds are chirping. Or those beautiful snowy days, where you look out your window and all you see for miles is white. Or when the wind is blowing so hard that it’s knocking over your lawn ornaments and rain is pelting the windows as lightening streaks the sky. Basically, when nature is at it’s most powerful and beautiful, I’m a bit extra inspired.

    ❤ Gina Blechman

    • Liza Kane says:

      “When nature is at its most powerful and beautiful, I’m a bit extra inspired.”

      I absolutely agree! I think it’s because I start asking myself questions like, “huh, I’m glad I didn’t get caught in that tornado path…but what if I did??”

      I have seasonal kinds of books, but I think it’s because my mindset is different, especially at spring and fall. For me, I associate winter with meatier works, like War and Peace or horror/suspense. Spring/summer…fluffy and happy books, all the way!

  4. Beth @ To the Fullest says:

    I’m so excited about your 3rd WIP inspiration! I heard somebody say somewhere (probably on Twitter lol) that the more scared you are about something you’re writing, the better and more necessary the finished product will be. 🙂

    • Liza Kane says:

      “the more scared you are about something you’re writing, the better and more necessary the finished product will be.”
      I *thought* that might come up, because I’ve heard that too…what’s worse is that I believe it, and for a long time, one of my more annoying brain elves likes to chirp at me, “you have to write this! you have to write this!”
      The thought of even trying to create a story out of it makes me nervous…but I’ll at least write out that scene, and see where it takes me.

  5. alberta ross says:

    def. weather here in UK while not as extreame as yours sounds!! is unpredictable and affects our moods a great deal. I will choose books depending on weather or seasons and I think the weather def. affects how I write. Follow your muse.

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