My writing year: SAD
As the shortest day of the year approaches and the days become dull and foggy, the amount of writing I do diminishes. Knowing this is due to my need for sunlight of above 2UV, I start reading and only writing the odd short piece. My mind feels sluggish, sleepy and my thoughts slow to a crawl. Words will not come and plot lines disappear somewhere I cannot reach.
The decision to put off writing till the spring is an act of self preservation knowing I would spoil the hard work I’ve already done.
To stop me from being unbearable to live with ( I really do get grumpy) I start using a SAD lamp for forty minutes twice a day. This improves my mood to almost normal most days. The one I use has white LEDs and is very bright. Even with my eyes closed it makes me feel as if I’m out in a summer’s day. After a session I can ignore the dark sky outside for several hours, and maybe get a poem or short story written.
What I eat also changes, gone are the salads as I can’t digest them in the winter. Why? I don’t know. I start craving oily fish, like mackerel. Cod-liver oil also helps. I suppose it’s the vitamins A and D it’s rich in. The sun light’s too weak in winter to give these vitamins to me.
One other thing I need to keep writing into the winter is a suntan. Not getting one in the summer causes me to go into hibernation mode early and be unable to take part in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. It’s a great way to get the first draft of a novel written. I’m not taking part this year as I now have four novels to type up, rewrite or edit.
For writing this blog piece I’m going to reward myself with Robin Hobb’s novels The Rain Wild Chronicles. As I said, winter is when I read lots of books.