I’ve gathered all my nuts and berries for the winter. There’s a storing up process I undertake during the mild, fall months. It’s all intake and experience and documenting—making sure I have a decent amount of material to hold me over through the hibernating months of cold and snow, so I don’t go mad with cabin fever. I used to find humor in imagining the crotchety hermit who holes up and writes by the light of a candle’s flame. Now, I understand why people choose to live in such a way.
In past years, I’ve noticed that I am by far more productive when I don’t have the distraction of wanting to be outside in the woods or fields, or on a mountain or by the ocean side. This was actually the first week I didn’t want to break off freely into the acres around where I live, because hunting season opened and I find it difficult to enjoy my surroundings when rifles are echoing through the valleys. I even purchased my first neon orange hat this year, but I have found it more useful to wear when I’m sitting stationary, chilled and writing in a drafty old house.
Whoever said making art isn’t a war zone too?
Right now, I’m tackling two major manuscripts. They each require abandoning my inhibitions and insecurities to examine new territory. I certainly have my work cut out for me, with many challenges to come and an inexhaustible amount of drafts. But I have time, and recognizing this gives me the patience I need to focus on the tasks at hand.
And this only affirms for me that I will probably never live full-time in a tropical or temperate place (I’ve tried before, without much success), because the reality is that the seasons too closely mirror my motivations and moods and development. And so I’m starting to suspect my fate is sealed in these little dynamic quarters I maintain.