I’ve noticed something very strange happening this year. With the onset of fall, I’ve actually felt happy about the season changing. Yes, I, the woman whose freezing point is 74 degrees Fahrenheit, is actually grateful for fall this year.
I’ve been trying to work out why this particular year is the first time I’ve really appreciated the season. After much consideration, I’ve decided it is mostly due to the general madness of 2020.
Thanks to the pandemic, this fall is a welcome sign of change from the slight sadness of Summer 2020. Summer is typically my favorite time of year, but since nearly all social events were either cancelled or significantly altered (Virtual Seafood Fests, anyone? Yikes!), it seemed especially cruel to have nice weather but nowhere to really enjoy the season – and no friends to safely enjoy it with.
Now that fall has arrived, however, it is much less abnormal to hole up in the house with my fiance (!) and spend hours reading and cooking warm meals. It’s as if we are all finally able to tell COVID, “Well, this is what we’d be doing anyway, so you don’t win on this one!” Cooler weather, cozy blankets, hot chocolate – it all sounds wonderful.
While spring was defined by the initial shock of COVID, and summer was marked by my utter chagrin at the ridiculousness of the year, I’ve finally reached the acceptance stage this autumn.
Which leads me to my exciting discovery: This fall is perfect for writing due to COVID.
Think about it. As writers, what are some of our top complaints?
I don’t have time to write. Oh, yes, you do now. You also have time to try to debate the cost-benefits of cutting your own hair, time to reorganize your bookshelf for the third time this month, and time to re-watch that Gilmore Girls episode where Lorelei’s beeper goes off as she’s in freeze-frame as the Renoir lady.
I can’t focus. If you are like me and my friends, you’ve had several months by now to perfect your art of focusing. You can finish a book with ease and paint-by-numbers an intricate depiction of a lion within hours. You have found enough focus within your soul to finish not just one game of Monopoly, but also countless re-matches.
I’m not good at writing. You have so many opportunities to practice now. With virtually no social events going on, you can practice your poetry writing about how much you miss them. You can practice your short story skills by finally finishing just one story, from start to finish. And, you may just get so bored that you decide to share your writing with someone who reaffirms that yes, you are good at writing.
Writing is lonely. While writing can indeed be lonely, it doesn’t have to be. Consider participating in NaNoWriMo this year, whether you have done it previously or not. For writers new to the challenge, National November Writing Month is an annual event where thousands of writers attempt to write 50,000 of their work during the month of November. There are countless forums, online chats, and virtual workshops to keep your writing spirit going strong this fall.
I hope all of you writers out there find ways to jumpstart your writing and creativity this fall, as well. Even if you’re not a writer, this fall is still a great opportunity to reflect on how you’ve improved this year, and where you can go from here.
How is your fall writing journey going? Do you anticipate writing will be easier or more difficult for you this season? Share your thoughts in the comments section!