The Writer’s Guide to Springtime


Have we stopped complaining about winter yet?  The snow is mostly melted, except for those parking lot pockets of dirt-crusted ice that make you think of mini mountains, and even your most vocal Facebook friend has probably stopped whining about frostbitten ears and noses.  While the southern states revel in the first buds and the fresh smell of turned soil, the north is still slogging through what is affectionately known as “mud season,” watching the rains start to cascade down barren, grassless lawns and into overflowing streams.

Springtime is a season full of false hope and betrayal, just like your favorite books should be.  And just like those fantasy worlds we love to inhabit, there are certain rules for authors to play by when the birds come out and the ice scrapers languish in the coat closets of the winter weary for another year.

Stay inside to prevent deadly sneezing outbreaks…

Nothing ruins a good writing day like a sudden allergy attack.  Speaking as someone who has been afflicted with the dreaded sneezles since childhood, I have learned that spring is no time to start venturing outdoors and enjoying the weather.  No, it’s better to sit tight and get as much work done as I possibly can while the trees start doing their thing.  Early fall is equally as dangerous for me and my sensitive sinuses, which is why all my books come out in the middle of the summer and I go silent around NaNoWriMo time again.

…but open the windows a bit if you must

At the same time, there’s nothing more intoxicating and inspiring than that first whiff of warming soil.  Cracking the windows gives you just enough fresh air without asking you to do something stupid like go outside and leave your laptop alone.  If you absolutely must venture outdoors, don’t start looking at all the crocuses and daffodils and fluffy baby chicks and whatnot.  Keep your mind where it belongs: on the next big plot twist.

Use every minute of extra sunlight

My very favorite thing about the warmer weather is waking up in the sunshine instead of winter’s dreary pre-dawn gloom.  Talk about a good way to start off a productive day, right?  And since the evening stretches until 7:30 instead of 4:00, there is plenty of time after work for my brain to stay in writing mode instead of switching off immediately after walking in the door.  Use your time to its fullest now, and maybe you’ll be allowed to attend a few poolside barbecues when it’s consistently gorgeous out.

Avoid the news

Until the evil media conglomerate stops posting Game of Thrones spoilers in the lede of every article that claims to hide its secrets below the jump but really doesn’t, just turn off the internet, okay?  We don’t all stay up to watch on Sunday night, and Monday morning is a torturous time for those who get our fix after work the next day.  All men must die, but let’s start with the ones who don’t know how to use their SEO packs to keep Google News from highlighting the wrong bit of their work.


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