Saturday, 11 August 2012

Too Hot To Write

No not me - the weather!  Why does my writing muse totally desert me in the summer? By that I don't mean the months of June to September, as where I live they don't necessarily mean hot weather - we have had torrential rain and serious flooding this year which didn't stop me writing at all. However, as soon as the thermometer creeps up to 25 degrees and over, my hair sits stickily on the back of my neck, and dragging myself from one room to another is too much effort.

Keeping cool becomes a major issue and enduring sleepless, sweaty nights where I wake up exhausted don't help, neither does the fact that showering only offers a refreshing respite for about twenty minutes. The glare on my computer screen sends me to the fridge for a cold drink every half hour, but in between I am unable to write a coherent sentence and suddenly the buzzing of the one pesky fly who escaped the spray is filling my head.

Why does a rise in temperature send my brain into lethergy mode? And I'm not talking about tropical, swamp levels here - this is England after all and 28 degrees is considered a heat wave.

Winter is far more accommodating. I can hunker down at a desk with my trusty computer and a steaming cup of coffee at my side and tap away for hours, oblivious to the lashing rain and the wind screaming down the chimney.  In fact, I love the cosiness of being snug and warm while everyone else battles with the elements, my thought processes flow beautifully and I climb into my characters' heads and out again.

But one day of blazing, headache-inducing sunshine and all I can concentrate on is the fact my jeans are too clingy and my underwear- oh OK we won't bother going into that!

My friend Mirella posted on FB today that she's 'Loving Great Falls! Much hotter here too. Writing up a storm.'

Huh? Am I alone in this, or just peculiar?


Anne Gallagher said...

You're not alone. I live in NCarolina and the temps go over 100 most days. The first few years I wilted, spent a lot of time in the pool and didnt' think about writing. However, being older, wiser, and with a little more cash in my pocket, I turned on the A/C the last two summers so I can write. It's helped enormously. Although, now I don't much feel like leaving the house.

Anita Davison said...

There is a teensy tiny flaw in your philosophy, Anne - we don't have air conditioning in English houses - so we cook instead!

Melissa Marsh said...

You're certainly not alone! Here in Nebraska, we are in a severe drought and we have had temps well over 100 too many days in a row to count. We're finally getting a respite now - I actually opened the windows in my house last night for a cool breeze. But we have had no rain and everything is dry and dead.

My tolerance for summer gets less and less every year, so much so that I have serious plans to find a summer house in upper Maine when I can afford it. My writing has been a lot of "stop and go" this summer and I hate it. The autumn and winter months are my perfect writing time - I feel like I come alive!

Anita Davison said...

Melisa, that sounds exactly like me - thank you for reassuring me I'm not going barmy. We are planning to move further north where it rains one hundred days a year - that should cure me!

Petrea Burchard said...

Those are the days when I take my laptop to an air-conditioned coffee shop. No laptop? Then a note pad will do, it must do. Or the library. Do you need to do any research?

Anita Davison said...

Yes, loads Petrea, so at least I have an excuse to sit in a lounger with a drink at my side and read reference books

Petrea Burchard said...

That sounds lovely. I take it the library isn't air-conditioned, either? I'm trying to find excuses for you to go!

Jen Black said...

Anita, it's been hot up here in the north, too and after the first couple of days of delight, everyone started to wilt and grumble. I've been doing what the French do - close the shutters (curtains in our case), shut the door and keep the interior reasonably cool. It works, especially if you live in an old house with thick walls and small windows.