Like childbirth, winter is forgotten once it’s over. For now it is inescapable and painful. Snow clearing, layers and layers and more layers of clothes, cold feet and frozen fingers. My hair froze the other day while taking the dog for a walk. Cold like that is not fun (but it is quite funny to see the eyebrows and hair around your face turn to ice).
In between storms we do get these blue sky days. Bright, fresh and clear. I love these mornings, though not when I’m waiting for the car to warm up and screen to clear, fingers painful and frozen under two layers of gloves. What’s worse is then realizing there is no fuel in the car and having to stop and get some. More agony for the fingertips. Tim spent the last couple of days clearing snow off a mall roof. His ability to cope with the cold is much better than mine.
The winter can be an excuse not to get on with anything. The temptation to spend any snow day underneath a warm blanket, sipping steaming cups of comfort is strong. By now I have exhausted Netflix of any film I want to see. It’s time to get on with the stuff.
I’m not talking here about what I ‘should’ be doing. I’m talking about what I love to do, but for some reason procrastinate about. Putting the dreams and ideas in my head onto screen or paper. Winter gives plenty of time for that.
This week I read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. I know, reading about writing is another way to procrastinate, but I had a feeling that this would be helpful. Although I don’t read much in his particular genre, he is a successful writer, he has written many books and I guessed he would have some great advice. Of course, yes. Besides I like to read about how people got to where they are. As I expected his advice is practical and useful and there’s a lot of it. One important piece of advice is to get on with it, every day. That’s something I need to work on (when? when?). Another is to read a lot (that one is not a problem). Keep away from adverbs and lots of other things I know, but still do.
The best advice is the permission to write what you want – go where the imagination takes you. Often, I’m a ‘should’ person. I should write about this or this, rather than going where my heart wants to go. I stop myself before I even start. Then I’m not being honest and, as Stephen writes in this book, honesty is of vital importance to be a convincing writer.
All this goes around in my head, so I’ll get on with getting it down using my still frozen fingers.