I just do not understand. If so-called classics can start with an opening sentence like Poe’s The Raven and continue onto another sentence, why is it that my writing lately is stopping after the first sentence? Oh right, it is the weather. The weather sets the mood for those works, while it dampens my mood in front of the computer.
Honestly, I spent a few years in Florida and experienced the summer rains. I also traveled in Central America and had to retreat out of plenty of storms. My life has even taken me to London, a city notorious for the fogs and the rain described in the classics by Conrad, Eliot, etc. Those three months actually had me to the point that I rarely even opened an umbrella unless it is a long walk in a very cold downpour. One of my favorite smells is the air and damp ground immediately after a heavy downpour.
In short, rain rarely fazes me, but right now in Pennsylvania, it is wrecking havoc on my writing schedule. I just cannot fathom typical life in Seattle as a writer. This is only about the third week of daily storms, and I swear it is playing with my prose.
In the beginning, it was great. No outdoor distractions were possible and after the great night’s sleep (as rainstorms put me into such a restful slumber), I was focused. It was perfect, foolproof. Freelance writing, no problem. Blog posts, a cinch. I even pitched an idea to a professional newsletter and received a receptive and enthusiastic yes.
Then, the rain continued. By yesterday, I found myself with a little bit of writer’s block and a lot of restlessness. A restlessness where all I wanted to do was to go outside -- to a park or for a walk, just for a stretch of the mental and the physical capacities. However, the rain just would not let up at all! Writing was a futile effort, so by mid-afternoon, I gave up with my ambitious goals and set new ones just so at the end of the day, when my head hit the pillow, I could say, okay, so today, I was not completely useless. It consisted of assembling templates for a new batch of freelance writing pieces, finding some research links, but next to no writing at all.
Today, however, I am going full-speed again, taking advantage of the quiet house with others still asleep and with the end goals in mind. In short, I am making myself a mental image of the sun, because according to the forecast, the rain is here for at least another week and a half, and that is not going to stall my deadlines from approaching and passing. My thought is if I find other ways to satisfy myself, maybe I won’t notice how it has been raining continuously since last night; if the rain gets too loud and reminds me of how dreary today is, I have the iPod ready to go. I am just too eager and too otherwise ambitious to let the weather disturb equilibrium for a second day too; in other words, stubbornness better be a good raincoat, or I’ll be in trouble!
Ultimately, I only wish I knew what those in Seattle or those classic Londoners did when it came to blocking out the weather. Hoping the forecast for all of you serves you better when it comes to having a productive writing day! If you have some tips for “water-proofing” a writing schedule, do let me know!