Coping with the Darkness

The darkness these days makes me feel like staying close to home especially in the evenings. I want to sit by a fire and drink hot chocolate, curl up with a good book (we always say a good book as if we’d ever want to read a horrible one) maybe sit with the characters of the novel I’m writing and ask them a few questions, make them explain the who, what, when , where and why. Dream. I want to dream and imagine and pull the darkness in close like a warm fuzzy blanket. I want to feel the comfort of these dark nights knowing that I am safe and warm.

In about a month the days will begin to lengthen. Right now it seems a long ways off. This time of the year is my busiest and I struggle to find the time to do all the things I’d like to do.  Its just the way things are and there’s not much point in complaining.

These past few days I have barely found time to write and that makes me feel even more rushed for time.  Writing slows me down, helps me settle into a world of my own making with characters I’ve created that seem far too real for me to say I made them up. I sometimes wonder  about the people and places a writer creates.  How much of it is imagined and how much resides in a small corner of our beings? How much of it is really real? I mean, really REAL. I know, this all makes me sound weird, but aren’t writers supposed to be a little weird?

How are you coping with the shorter days? Do you mind the diminished daylight hours?

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33 Comments

  1. Hi, Laura. Funny, I have been thinking about you today.

    I do mind the diminished daylight hours; it’s my most difficult time of year. Depression looms this year more than it has the past several but I am hanging on waiting for those longer, warmer sunshiny days.

    I often wonder about the characters writers create. How much is real out there somewhere, where do these ideas come from and how can they even sound so real?
    I understand weird. Sometimes it’s what I do best.

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    • I’ve also been thinking of you, Lynn. Happy belated birthday! I meant to send off an email last Sunday but ran out of time then the rest of the week got away from me.

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  2. I hate the dark. I wake in the dark and go to sleep in the dark. What kind of life is that. 🙂

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  3. Not having time to write is frustrating. This move has limited my writing time (for now) and I don´t like it. I have never liked the shorter days but the promise of longer days to come helps.

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    • Darlene, you’ve been extremely busy, and I can’t imagine trying to write if I were in your situation. The writing time will come eventually. Hang in their my brave friend. 🙂

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  4. Dianne

     /  November 23, 2014

    I love your books and the reason is because I can put a face to whom you are portraying.

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  5. Fortunately the back of our house faces south and, if the sun is out, I move the chair in my living room so that I can sit in a sunny spot. My husband says I must be part cat! As for writing time? Well, I struggle with that one, too, but I know what you mean about those characters. Thank goodness they demand the attention they do, or they’d never make it into print.

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    • Sitting in the sun is so nice especially in the winter. I think you’re right that if our characters weren’t demanding they’d never live outside our imagination.

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  6. When it turns dark I’m ready for bed, ha! I don’t get anything accomplished during these hours. They call it sundowners with the elderly. I feel so lethargic in winter and energetic in the summer. I like the longer days. Crazy how the darkness brings me down.

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    • Many people seem to feel the same way, Susan. But I guess the darkness is needed in order for us to have the light. I’m with you. I love the longer days of summer.

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  7. Kathy

     /  November 23, 2014

    Eccentric Laura….not weird 🙂 Time changes everything and I notice in the past couple of yrs. that less light bothers me. It didn’t before….must be my advanced age. :/

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    • Kathy, when I think of the word eccentric I think of a weird person with lots of money which puts e back in the weird category. 😉 Advanced age? You? Never. I don’t want to hear you say that again!

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  8. Phyllis

     /  November 23, 2014

    And in the other corner….
    Maybe it’s the extra dark time that gifts us with enforced quiet – a chance to recharge, reflect, and rejuvenate into spring with new energy & a clearer vision of what we want to accomplish. As one of my favourite authors once said (ummmm….. July 30th I think it was) “It’s about taking the time to slow down and spend some alone time with the person you should know best in this world—You.” And while I know she wasn’t talking about winter, any excuse to slow down, for most of us, can’t be a totally bad thing. I don’t like the extra dark time, but I do love that there are more of those hot baths, good books, snuggles & hot chocolate. 🙂

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    • Wow! Smart person that author of yours. 😉 And smart you for remembering my words! I’m sure embracing the darkness is much better than trying to chase it away. Thankfully, I write.

      Thanks for visiting, Phyllis and for letting me know you’re out there watching. 😉

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  9. I noticed the other night that my night vision isn’t what it used to be, which may make me stay home by the wood stove more evenings these winters. And I find myself in bed with a book earlier than in the summer – I can’t think of a lot of things I do like about the winter, in fact!

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    • Poor misunderstood winter. 😦 Actually, I’m not much of a fan. Oddly, I find snow storms inspiring and like to write when the weather is raging outside. Go figure!

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  10. Judi

     /  November 23, 2014

    Yeah!!! right a “hot chocolate” hey. I think I know better than that. LOL These days don’t depress me. I have my “day light” lamp that I curl up under and quilt or knit, whatever I may be working on in the darker days of winter. I can get a lot more done in the winter than I can in the summer time. But I love both winter and summer, and the seasons in between. Happy writing my friend, can’t wait for the next book. xox

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  11. It takes a long morning before the sun comes up. And yet, he’s so quick to sink down in the early evening. I’m like you, Laura, missing the daylight, yet more busy now than in the summer, it seems. But I’m not complaining about the heat and the humidity. We are in Bucerias for the winter and while the days are speeding past like the traffic on the nearby road, I will discover a way to find more time to write. Eventually, right?

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    • Oh, Joylene, how exciting! I’m sure once you settle in you’ll find time to write. We really can’t stay away from that page.

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  12. I read this earlier, but didn’t get a chance to comment. I find winter’s dark mornings make it harder to start the day, although I’m preoccupied by NaNoWriMo (and writing furiously) during November, and December is busy, too, so I don’t have a lot of time to dwell on it. My biggest gripe is over Daylight Saving Time. I wish Canada didn’t do it at all, so the changing seasons would be naturally gradual and we wouldn’t have to deal with the sudden hour swing twice a year.

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    • Yes, Daylight Saving Time, I vote to have it abolished. It’s not a natural thing at all and I find the switch so hard to get used to.

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  13. I have similar struggles to you with long dark days and longer, darker nights–but part of me also loves them (again for reasons you touched on). Your end paragraph, about what is real, resonated with me the most, however. My family and friends mock me sometimes because fairly frequently, someone will say something to which I unconsciously respond, “In real _real_ life?” I’m being serious when I ask, though. I think there’s a thin veil between the imagined and “factual,” and between how what is imagined affects our interpretations of “the facts” or changes our “reality,” and between how some people let imagined facts limit their imagination . . . but then again, I’m often accused of being weird too. And sometimes I know why and it’s fine–actually it’s always fine. I’ve been this way long enough that I just accept it–but at times I’m still confused as to _why_ and _how_. (In this response though, I see it. :D)

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    • A thin veil between imagined and “factual” is a good way of describing it, Ev. And I don’t know about you, Ev, but I say let them call me weird. I’m sure we’re all weird in some respect! Therefore that makes me normal. 😀

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  14. I too hate going out after supper in the dark. I think it is the combination of dark and cold that discourages me. If not for the organisations in which my kids participate, I would stay home all winter.

    I tell others I’m going into hibernation, and in some ways I am. I don’t leave the property unless I have to. I tell my kids that when they are grown and on their own, I will gather the supplies I need to over winter from December 20th until the first week of March. They laugh at me and think I’m weird. I tell them that’s okay; I’m a writer; I’m supposed to be weird.

    Still, I have a good handle on what I need to survive three months without leaving the house. That includes hay for the goats and feed for the chickens. I dream of a cabin, a fireplace, a wifi signal (to keep me connected), a good cup of tea, quiet music and long winter nights where I can either read, write or sketch.

    PS: Being a writer gives us the freedom to explore our weirdness. I love it. It’s like doing something crazy and blaming it on a mid-life crisis.

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    • lol! Love your last comment, Diane, Exploring our weirdness seems like a very productive and imaginative thing to do! It probably keeps us out of trouble as well. 😉 Nice to have you back. I’m looking forward to checking out some blogs I haven’t visited in a LONG time. Cold dark night seem about right for that!

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