I’ve always loved September. Calm is restored everywhere as the kids go back to school (and I don’t even have them!) Traditionally we take our summer holiday the first week of September and it’s the perfect time of year: the weather is still hot in Europe, but it’s much quieter. For the punctuation enthusiast that I am, it is the perfect full stop after the summer.
There’s also that ‘back to school’ or new term feeling to September. I always want a new pencil case and a fresh and stylish working wardrobe. In the legal profession where my day job is based, the courts creak to life again ready for some serious work before Christmas. Everyone is back from foreign climes and raring to go.
And what of writing? When the nights start to draw in in the UK, it is the perfect time to take up writing projects again after all the distractions of the summer. Cold autumn evenings are made for settling down at my laptop with a hot drink, and the dog by my side for company.
But frustratingly, I had a hopeless case of writers’ block over the summer months. I was full of plans for the long recess (finish that novel, get that article submitted …) but what with so much else going on in my life (moving, or still trying to, dog needing continuous treatment at the vet …) I found myself less and less motivated and when I did open a blank page ready to start writing, horror of horrors … nothing happened.
So what should we do when we are blocked? Some say writing is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Others find stepping away allows the creativity to flow again. Not being a fan of the gym, I chose the latter . I had a small hiatus during which I read a lot instead and did countless craft projects which has long been my displacement activity. Now I’m back with a vengeance – I hope – and looking forward to some good projects in the pipeline, including the annual Festival of Romantic Fiction, run by a writer friend and always attended by some very famous, talented and inspirational novelists.
I also return to my long commute into London which, although one of the worst parts of my life, gives me a couple of uninterrupted hours a day on the train to write and therefore makes use of otherwise wasted time.
Although I know that the best way to write is just to sit down and do it regardless of season, personal life, chores at home et cetera, et cetera, I’m using the change in the season as my own ‘back to school’ for writing motivation. Here’s hoping it works …