What is a Creative Season?
Yesterday I read this article by Victoria Fry about creative seasons, and it got my wheels turning. First of all though, you’re probably wondering what a creative season is.
Like the four seasons of each year, each creative season represents a certain stage in our writing process. For example, right now we’re in summer. Summer is the time for exploration, Fry says. Pull out that old comic book you started drawing and writing when you were fifteen. Go to the cultural festival one town over. Check out the newest museum exhibit in town! Summer is when you let the reins go, and go a little wild. Have some fun! Write ten new short stories! Be free.
The Creative Season is flexible; Make it your own!
Just because you are in summer now, does not mean you have to arrange your writing schedule like the above. Right now, it may be summer outside, but I am working on heavy revision and rewriting on a novel. In winter, I’m hoping to pitch it to an agent at a writer’s conference in October – my first ever! I’m super excited about it. At the same time, I don’t look at it with starry eyes; I know conferences cost money, and I’m saving up for it.
In spring, I might do what Fry’s article says, and kick back, do thirty days of yoga, and re-connect with family and friends. But I’d be doing because it works right for me in my writer schedule, not because the article’s author said so.
If you want to try the creative season concept, be flexible about it! That’s what keeps it fun and not a chore.
Why the Creative Season is helpful
Fry addresses further points, such as monsters that you battle during each creative season. At the end of it, she points out that trying out the creative season concept is helpful for every writer, because it allows you to keep a strict time schedule, work efficiently towards your goals, and get writing done in all its stages – without feeling guilty that you’re not working on a different section, season, or story.
I personally struggle a lot with feeling guilty in my writing. Often, I feel guilty that I am not writing more each month or each day. Other times, I feel like I should be revising, when I chose to spend a night on my sci-fi draft or something new and silly instead. When I’m working on the revisions, I feel guilty sometimes that I’m not faster.
The creative season eliminates this ridiculous guilt. If I schedule my writing process according to season – and for me, it seems my summer is Fry’s busy, revision-based winter – then I know that what I’m doing now is good for my writing, good for my career. I can throw myself into it wholeheartedly, without a second thought. Dive in, and don’t look back!
Thinking about diving in makes me feel very happy. I love the idea of becoming very engrossed in my revision, knowing that I have until the end of summer to get it done, and that when fall comes, I can take a breath of fresh air and turn to something else. My current project will get done, and so will my other projects. Each one is important, and each one deserves – and will actually get – their time. The time will even be even, if I spend three months on each – spring, summer, fall and winter.
No more guilt! I am free to go crazy in revising!
What would your creative season look like?
Do you have a different type of writing schedule that works for you?
What do you do to keep the writing process and multiple long projects fresh?
Until next time,