Long Winter Nights: Where is My Muse?

This week, one of our foxes posed the question of seasonal changes in daily sunlight and the effect of longer nights on our writing schedule. Since I’m semi-retired and have no children at home, this probably has less of an effect on my writing than it would have fifteen years ago. There are other things that determine my writing schedule.

My biggeimg_3114st distraction is the 54-inch television in our family room. Hubby has been retired for fifteen years, and the television is ALWAYS on while he’s awake. It’s tuned to news shows in the early morning, game shows later on, talk shows after lunch, and then back to the news in the early evening. Sometimes he “gives the TV a break” and switches it to a Pandora radio station. Thankfully, hubby goes to bed after supper, so I turn off the TV and get to work after that.

sewing-roomIf I have a major project that needed more of my time, I go back to my sewing room and set up my laptop away from the tv. Headphones and classical music also help drown out the crowd’s frenzy along with “You’ve won a brand new car!” I feel kind of isolated, but I do manage to get more work done when I isolate myself from the goings-on in the house. I just need to be more disciplined and go back to my makeshift office on a regular basis. The room has several windows, so it gets natural sunlight during the day, and I have a desk lamp there for when the day is dreary or I’m working in the evening.

But in the fall, my evening writing time is diminished because the community music groups begin rehearsals, and I’m gone in the evenings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. So now I have to write in the mornings and afternoons on those days, as well as on performance days. I also teach two afternoons a week, so that’s two more blocks of time not available to me. And I haven’t managed to figure out how to teach the class without assigning homework, which needs to be graded before my mind allows me to think about my stories.

img_3115I used to write at the kitchen table, but our chandelier no longer works. Hubby has it on his to-do list to get it fixed, but as of this weekend, there is still no working light over the kitchen table, which means I can’t write there after the sun goes down. The fan is permanently running, because there’s no way to turn it off. I suppose I could get the desk lamp from my sewing table and plug it in, but for now it’s easier to take my laptop into the sewing room and write there. And since it gets darker sooner, I’m spending more time in the sewing room. The problem there is that once I’m in that room, I’m tempted to sew, rather than write.

Oh, the joys of having too many hobbies and interests. At least I’m never bored.

Do seasonal changes affect your routine?

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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6 Responses to Long Winter Nights: Where is My Muse?

  1. jeff7salter says:

    First, let me say that — for a semi-retired person — you seem about as busy as if you were working full time.
    Now about the TV running all day. My sincere sympathies. I face a similar situation, though the channels are different — mostly home & garden TV and reruns of NCIS and Castle and some other crime show.
    When we were planning the layout of the house we built in 2007, I was particularly insistent that my study be as far away as possible from the “big” TV.
    I’m upstairs and the TV is down.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yeah, I’ve always been more inclined to get-up-and-go rather than sit-down-and-relax. When our daughters grew up and left home I considered converting one of the rooms into an office, but decided on a sewing room instead. My mistake. But it’s a lot easier to put away writing stuff than sewing stuff, so the sewing room makes sense. I can always shut the door when people come over.


  2. Joselyn says:

    When the kids were little, we went to one tv and it is upstairs. It’s not in a main room where we are a lot, so we have to be more intentional about having it on. Unfortunately Youtube and Netflix are available where ever my laptop is.


  3. Oh, I like to have the oldies station on behind me when I write, but the TV …no, I don’t think I could write that way. I hope I never have to find out! My sympathies.


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