In Fiction Writing, General, Musings on October 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm

It seems the perfect season to write about demons as skulls, ghosts and wicked pumpkins are slowly arising all over town. Even with another week of Indian Summer–temps in the 80s–there’s a crisp, whispery edge to the wind, and the light does not linger as long.

It’s the season of writing demons for me. The season in which I question the purpose and necessity of writing. The season in which I look at whatever I have produced in the year and wonder what it is all for. No matter how successful I have been, how much praise or validation I’ve received, come October, when many cultures believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, death starts to crowd the edges of my certainty, and my writing rises up around me like paper ghosts, moaning their unknowable fates.

 Sometimes I can channel the darkness into the writing. Other times it means I need to percolate and wait for the post-holiday tsunami that almost inevitably follows around the New Year.  Mainly, I’m learning that there’s no point in fighting it. My psyche goes underground. My sense of purpose becomes buried as if in a mountain of fallen leaves. It’s a season of reading and taking in, a season of teaching and helping keep others afloat.

What does Fall mean to your writing?


If you want an autumnal writing jumpstart, Fiction’s Magic Ingredient begins October 18.

  1. This is really interesting, Jordan. Fall always feels like possibility to me–partially, I think, because I like the cooler weather, the lack of people pushing me to get outside in the beautiful sunshine! 🙂 But I bet it’s also tied to having a child in school again–to the hours ahead of me that say, if I focus, so many of them can contribute to the writing.

  2. It just seems natural that we, part of the living web of life in the universe, also have cycles. No one, including plant or animal. can produce all the time. There needs to be time for reflection, for silence, for taking in, for letting go of outward growth, for sinking down. That seems to be what autumn and the darkness is all about. And yes, let’s get some of that reading done we’ve been wanting to do! Thanks for a great post on cycles.

  3. Linda, you said it more clearly th an I did…indeed, we writers go through cycles with the seasons. It’s just taken me a long time to realize mine, to welcome them, instead of being blindsided by them.

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