Yay! It's autumn, my favorite season. There's something about this time of year that I just love–the crisp days and fall color, the nummy seasonal food (apples and butternut squash, anyone?) and, of course, Halloween.
I always feel a sense of personal renewal at this time of year, stretching on through the dark days of December. It's because for so many years I returned to school come September, going back to a whole new slate of things to learn.
And now, with the cooler temperatures here at last, there's no better time for writers. So, herewith are my suggestions for celebrating autumn.
1. Sit by a roaring fire and write. Okay, you don't even have to do the fire part–just write. Gone are the distractions of summer and it is likely raining or cold outside. Sit your butt down and write.
2. Curl up in bed and read a good book. Pile on the comforters and duvets and pull out your Kindle or your book. There's no better time than a autumn day to get lost in a book. And one of the best things about being a writer is that reading is a big part of the job description!
3. Drink a pumpkin spice latte. If that doesn't get you going, nothing well. (Actually, when I was in the Salt Lake City airport on my way home from Paris I got a pumpkin spice latte from Seattle's Best Coffee. Um, they put pumpkin spice in the whipped cream, people! It's fantastic!)
4. Take a long walk and scuff through fallen leaves. Julia Cameron says that walking is one of the best things for creativity and I agree–it clears your mind and allows new thoughts to enter.
5. Conquer stress at last. Stress is the cause of most, if not all of our ailments, including, I would venture to say, writer's block. So let's slay that dragon this fall, shall we? My dear friend Sandra Pawula offers a wonderful home study course to do just that. Click on the Living With Ease button to the right and check it out!
6. Make leaf placemats. There's a myth afoot that taking time for creative projects other than writing will just take you away from your WIP. But the opposite is true–creativity breeds creativity. So here's a fun project (especially good if you have tiny humans around, but they aren't strictly necessary): Collect a variety if colorful leaves and lay them on one sheet of wax paper, cut to the size you want your placemat. Then place shavings and bits of crayons around the paper. Cover it with another sheet of wax paper, and using a sheet or something to protect the iron, press together. Voila! Leaf placemats.
7. Commit to a new project. Nanowrimo is coming up in just a couple of weeks. Who wants to write a novel in November? You've got just enough time to dream up some characters, plan the plot, create a world, before starting writing on November 1.
8. Finish a current project. As I write this, it is Mercury Retrograde, the perfect time to return to unfinished projects. Most writers I know have a story or two or twelve languishing unfinished on their computers. Pull them out and polish them off!
9. Watch a movie. Watching movies (and TV shows) can help you understand structure and dialogue and scenes. To me, there is something positively decadent about taking time for a movie on a week-day afternoon. So I give you permission to do it.
10. Start a journal. I'm a big fan of journaling, in all its permutations. I am off and on with it, going stretches without setting pen to diary, but then suddenly I will feel like I absolutely must write in a journal again. (This happened to me most recently in France.) Regular journal entries help you create flow in your writing and are good for noting all the things you want to incorporate in your work.
11. Take a nap. Dreaming is good for writing–and the soul.
12. Bake an apple pie. Or an apple crisp. Or a pear crisp. Or a crumble. The apples and pears are so delicious right now and there's nothing more satisfying then assembling a nummy dessert. Then you can eat a piece while doing #1, #2, or #3.
Well, I could go on, but you'd likely get tired of me raving about all things autumn. (I didn't even get to Halloween, my second favorite holiday!) So I will just turn the floor over to you–what are your favorite autumn activities? Please comment!