For many writers September offers the opportunity of a new start to the year. Years of conditioning by the school term system has trained us to stock up on stationery, sharpen our pencils and start scribbling in our pristine notebooks at the first sniff of autumn. I decided to test this idea with other writers and find out if there is a best time of the year to write.
September’s harvest of words
When asked, the majority of writers felt there wasn’t a best time of year to write, however, when a preference was given, September came top. Though seasonal patterns of writing influenced only 30% of writers I wanted to explore this a bit further.
“September always feels like a new start, an inspirational time, especially if there’s been a summer holiday!”
It’s not so much that writers are grown up school kids unable to break out of the term-time routine, but that many simply have children. That means summer time can be difficult balancing act of childcare and work with writing taking a low priority. One writer said: “Holidays are a nightmare for getting any work done at all.” They longed for the days when the kids were back at school so they could once again get writing, as another said: “Whenever the children aren’t around!”
Perfect weather for writing
Other responses focussed on the role of seasons and the impact of the weather. Many people felt that autumn and winter were the best times: “When the weather is dull, wet & miserable & I’m glad to be cosy indoors listening to the wind and rain.”
It seems that the bad weather drives us to our desks and the good weather tempts us away. “I find it hard to write when it’s lovely weather.” While a non-UK respondent said “It is far too hot in the summer in my country to be able to concentrate.”
“Bad weather outside helps a lot.”
Having a change in the season helps, with one writer saying that the beginning of seasons – “September, December, March, June” – gives their resolve and productivity a boost. Very few people mentioned New Year as their best time, proving that resolutions don’t always translate into activity. With the nights drawing in, and rain and gales forecast for much for Britain, I think it is time for me to stop blogging and get cracking with my creative writing.
Even Machavelli took time off from writing, plotting and scheming in the summer – thanks to the ever amusing Tom Gauld from the Guardian Review.