Vitamin D: The Writer’s Enemy

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It’s hard to write when the day is beautiful

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, the amount of time I spent being creative shot up to levels I had yet to see in my life thus far. I attribute that to the fact that it’s easy to stay indoors and write when it’s cool, gray and raining. Our vitamin-d deficient selves can easily spend hours, plotting and planning; writing and revising; and reading and thinking.

We spend so many of our days like that the entire of the population — not just writers — go absolutely sun psychotic when a perfect day like today arrives. Such a day consists of huge quantities of sun, you can see The Mountain for miles and miles, and the temperature lets you sit in shorts and tshirt and the beloved flip-flops sipping your coffee. Who wants to pound away at the keys or scribble in a notebook when there is a brand new shiny world to explore? It’s sun for goodness sake. I must get my vitamin D dose for the next probably week or more, because this weather will not last. We know it.

But the writing needs to get done. My solution was a brilliant one, or so I thought. I brought my laptop out on the patio to try to get some writing done. Then the phone rings. I run back in the house and deal with sunny day crisis number one:  son is working and didn’t bring enough water with him, or sunscreen. “But, I’m writing!” I protest. But then I remember we’re out of aloe vera in the house. I take the child his water and sunscreen. That crisis averted, I return to the patio and laptop again, intent on accomplishing much word generation towards “the end” of my story.

I sit and think. I plunk a few sweat-driven words down on the screen. Oh the sun is so warm; it melts the winter and cold spring away. I look up watching the breeze in the old oak tree in my yard. The wind chimes are singing to me. I smile and feel too happy to create the conflict my protagonist must face. It’s then I note some weeds invading my herb patch that had to be dealt with. I get up and get my gardening gloves and the weed bucket. They are quickly dealt with when I notice the bird feeders need feeding. The birds entertain my dog when I’m away at the soul-sucking day job. Doggie TV must not stop. I fill the feeders (four of them scattered around the yard).

Feeling like I’ve sufficiently tackled ever distraction, I sit down. Focus, I tell myself. The protagonist and her problems. Her seemingly insurmountable problems. Click. Click. Bark. The dog cries to be let out. I look at her. She’s so good at looking so dejected and neglected. There’s not a person, let alone a sensitive writer who could just let her hang in the yard. I just HAD to play with her.

The sun feels good. I sit on a chair that’s more in the sun. I watch the birds flitting in and out from the newly filled feeders. Where do I need to take my protagonist again?

I decide to take her for a walk. When, I explain,  I get back from my own. I’ll write when it’s dark. I just can’t find myself clear or satisfactorily writing when the sun is shinning down and the birds are chirping in the yard.

If anyone knows of good sunny-time writing strategies, feel free to share.

Someone pray for rain. Until it comes, I’ll be enjoying this particular version of writer’s block.

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