As writers, we can sometimes be depressed by cloudy, cold days, and eventually let this affect our creativity. But a wise woman once told me, “Honey, you need to embrace the winter days as a time to catch up on everything you have let go all summer because of work in the garden or yard.”

This woman came from the old school, where women harvested, prepared and canned all the vegetables and fruit they would eat all winter, but nevertheless she had a point. I find myself having much more time in the winter when outdoor chores and fun doesn’t beckon. So as January winds down, I’ve tried to devote those hours not used up by summer duties toward catching with my writing related chores.
I find many things connected to writing that have to be done. My work table that contains magazines and newspapers that need my articles or promotional material clipped, scrapbooks brought up to date, historical articles that need filed and on and on. The books and papers I’ve dragged out to look up information need returned to their files. The office needs a general cleaning and sorting. Then there are manuscripts I’ve agreed to take a look at for other writers, books to be read for reviews, materials I agreed to judge for contests, all there waiting for my attention.
So two or three mornings a week I try to devote time to these projects so other miscellaneous chores don’t inflict themselves upon my writing time. Not being a morning person all creative writing is done after lunch. Every day is scheduled for specific duties. Of course, as with all plans, they sometimes can go awry, which explains why no blog was posted here last week. Too much came up that had to be attended to.
In planning upcoming speaking events, there’s work to do on speeches and workshops, handouts, etc. There’s a free conference March 12 sponsored by my critique group, then April 9 is my workshops, which take place every spring and fall at Ozark Folkways.
Like you, when I became a writer I never expected to take on so many other jobs connected to writing. Learning to say No to many things not related was necessary. But it’s difficult to say No to writers who need help or have problems.
The only thing I can recommend to all of you is keep a strict schedule, treat your writing like a job you go to during the hours when you write best. Don’t let anything interrupt that schedule. That said, remember family always comes first and when there’s a crisis that schedule can go right out the window. My two grandchildren grew up within throwing distance, and their mother worked away from home, so when the school bus let them off each day, one or both of them might drop in to talk about their day. I would never turn them away. Our children grow up much too quickly.
I’m glad I did that, because they’re both grown now and are busy making lives of their own. The school bus doesn’t stop here anymore, and frankly I miss that. So find time for each and every thing that is important to you, and use these winter days to help put your life in order.

About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
This entry was posted in a writer's life, gardening, grandchildren, scheduling, Velda Brotherton, winter doldrums, writing. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Hanny says:

    I definitely was looking forward to the rainy, dark Washington weather as a chance to catch up on writing and reading.

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