Monday, December 13, 2010

The Writer in Winter

A natural time for the writer is winter. Writers live indoors by habit, squirreling away hours in rooms and closets, basements, attics, anywhere they can find where the world will not find them. During the summer this can be a little more challenging as sunshine plays outside the room where you work on that sentence that wont behave or that novel that just wont turn the corner. Staying inside during the warm months in the Midwest seems slightly insane when you have winters that last five months and wind chills of minus thirty. But of course the winter is the writers greatest friend.

You cocoon naturally when the snow wisps outside and the panes rattle. You find your breathing space when the radiators hiss and you pad down hallways of winter light dim and brittle as mottled ice. You are in your element now with those Russians that only make sense in the winter. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy just seem to read better when a winter storm is raging outside. Maybe it is the long brooding days or the sickness that comes with winter. I was able only to read James Joyce Ulysses in the winter. During the summer his prose seemed like the ramblings of a lunatic.

But of course the writing is what matters. Now you buckle down. Now you can really work because there is nothing to do but work in the winter. In the Midwest we live indoors until April and so you forget about the outside world and hunch over your computer with coffee at the ready and tap away while the world slowly freezes.
Rocket Man will be out in January

Books by William Hazelgrove