Grey days, dark nights, dry January – urgh. This is the month after Christmas festivities that can seem relentless and totally uninspiring as we wait for the days to grow longer and for Spring to send out its tendrils of hope and light.
This should be a really bad time to be writing. Right? Wrong. Here are our top five reasons why January is the writer’s friend.
You’ve spent all your money on presents and Baileys and pay day is still a long way off. How to entertain yourself? Writing is free. Knuckle down to a first draft and be grateful that there’s no compound interest on a word count.
You Hate Other People
A festive period spent in the company of close family and friends can leave you with a strong desire never to have another conversation with another person ever again. Channel your inner grump and shut yourself away at your desk. If anyone dares to knock on the door and offer you a cup of tea, swear viciously at them for interrupting your creative flow. Dickens never had to put up with this.
Healthy Living Stinks
This is the month when we’re all encouraged to go on diets and visit the gym. Don’t be brainwashed. Sit at your desk, plump up the cushions, buy an extra tin of biscuits and set to on that last chapter. Celery may be calorie negative, but how many authors ever thanked a vegetable on the acknowledgments page?
The Weather’s Foul
Cold snaps are sent for a reason; to keep you at your desk. Mother Nature is encouraging you to write a scene that involves some dramatic pathetic fallacy. Or a short spell of rain.
Short winter days can be much more productive than long summer evenings. Summer is notoriously disastrous for creativity and the scourge of productivity. There’s a sudden urge to lounge on a picnic blanket, drinking Pimms. So enjoy these short, barren evenings when there’s nothing left to do but write by the light of a sputtering candle.
This can also be the month when you put plans into action. You could do worse than apply for a place on the 2016 Book Bound writers retreat. We might even supply a tin of biscuits…
What are your tips for January productivity?