The Dark Months

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.


I don't know about anyone else, but did it feel like January was at least a year long? And, for me at least, February isn't a whole lot better. Sure, the days are finally getting longer, but the weather is still drab and dreary, and it's easy and common to feel the blues during these months. I find myself counting the days until March, when the weather finally starts to warm up more consistently. The foliage begins to spring out once more. Thunderstorms start to become a more regular occurrence, and my overall mood starts to improve.

But in the meantime, we have to survive what I call the dark months, that period of time between the holidays of December and the beginning of Spring.

One of my go-tos during this time is writing. There's just something therapeutic about putting words to paper -- both literally and figuratively -- that helps banish some of those winter blues. Whether it's writing original stories or using someone else's for inspiration, it doesn't matter so long as the words get set down. It isn't always easy, of course. Many days I don't want to write, but that's where we remember that writing is as much a discipline as a hobby. Our muses don't always want to cooperate, and so we have to nudge them out of slumber and sometimes inspire them to work.

And it's always worth the effort. There's few things as satisfying to a writer as seeing a finished written product.

So stave off the dark months and winter blues, my friends. Keep at it, keep your heads up, and keep surviving.

And most of all, keep writing.


Comments (9 so far!)

HSAR

HSAR

I've been branching out a bit. While writing will always be my first love, I've found that storytelling happens everywhere. Roleplaying, both in forums and as tabletop roleplaying games. Narrative- and theme-heavy board games, also, though they're a bit hard on the schedule.

For whatever reason, my pool of inspiration has been slow to recharge recently. A bit of variety in storytelling formats has definitely helped.

  • #4383 Posted 9 months ago
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PrincessLapis

PrincessLapis

The entirety of winter has left me without a lot of creative energy, so I've mostly been a flop. i haven't really even opened up Ficlatte, although I've down a few spots of writing in other places. Been roleplaying with a friend. The more sunshine has left me feeling a bit happier and more energetic, though, so I might start trying to poke at things more. I need to try and get into the habit of writing more again.

  • #4406 Posted 9 months ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

I think HSAR and I have almost single-handedly been keep this place alive lately. Helps we've been tag-teaming a longer storyline, but I'm hoping some people will start to trickle back once we get through the rest of winter.

  • #4407 Posted 9 months ago
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HSAR

HSAR

I was going to say that @Jae put in one or two recently, but then I realised that we've already buried their work... :P

  • #4408 Posted 9 months ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

That said, one of hers has been the featured story for the last week.

  • #4409 Posted 9 months ago
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HSAR

HSAR

I probably did that by dumped three comments on it.

  • #4410 Posted 9 months ago
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PrincessLapis

PrincessLapis

Yeah, you two've been writing a fair bit. I'm hoping to at least get back into making a little more writing when I can regain my creative energy. Have a few things off-site I've been meaning to write. I also thought about linking longer works, but I wasn't sure if that would fit in the spirit of this site or not.

  • #4411 Posted 9 months ago
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HSAR

HSAR

I don’t think there have ever been any rules about how to use the writing space (within reason). In fact, some of the best writing I’ve done on these sites is serial!

I know what you’re talking about with the creative energy, though. When I don’t have enough sleep or haven’t read anything for a while, my output drops away completely.

  • #4412 Posted 9 months ago
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PrincessLapis

PrincessLapis

Oh, okay. I've been doing most of my recent writing on Yarny, and have some stuff there I could link. Feels a little silly to put some of it up here, because some of them would take up several sequels, and others would take up just one and a half.

It's hard when that happens. Especially if it's because of something like sleep that can sometimes be beyond your control. If I can't write for a while because I keep being busy, that also can be a huge drain. Part of what my stories with the little muses are about, is just kinda my experience with creativity and ideas and creative energy.

  • #4413 Posted 8 months ago
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