Following the Christmas holiday, I was talking to a friend expressing my frustration with my lack of progress on my novel. I told her I had been thinking a lot about it, but for whatever reason, I hadn’t been able to sit down and write much on it, or at least as much as I felt I should be writing. “’Tis the season,” she said.
“I know. It’s so busy with . . . stuff!” I replied.
She laughed and said, “That’s not what I mean at all.”
“What are you talking about then?” I asked.
“It’s winter,” she replied. We were talking on the phone, and she obviously noted my silence which prompted her to continue with an explanation. “Winter,” she said, “is the season for dormancy, for the plants and trees to rest before all their growth in the spring. Why would you be any different? Can you be creative and productive 365 days a year? Is it reasonable to expect that of yourself?”
Hmmmm. These are great questions, and their answers made me pause because I think she’s right. I have noted throughout this past year that my creativity comes in spurts. Sometimes I am highly productive and other times . . . I’m just not, but are my “unproductive” times necessarily “unproductive”? Or am I just like anything else in the natural world which follows the cycles and rhythms of forces far greater than us? Why do I expect myself to produce all of the time? Why have we created a society that demands that of us? I’m not sure that makes any sense whatsoever.
I don’t mean to say that I’m just like an ant or a tree at the mercy of mother nature, but I do think that she made a valid point, one that allowed me to back up and back off of beating myself up for my perceived lack of progress because since my “creative dormancy” began.
Perhaps the most heartening idea behind all of this is the idea of spring which is the season for growth. Spring has never failed me; it always will come. I will welcome it, both the green leaves and new growth in my own life, with open arms. I’ve always looked forward to spring, or to any new season for that matter, for the change in the weather, but this year, I have a little different view of it, and I think I like it.