In the Mood to Write–or Not

Seasonal Affective Disorder–the “winter blues,” “winter depression”–whatever name it goes by, it’s a motivation killer. In years past, I had only twinges of it, just a day here and there, but lately, it’s become an issue with my writing.

When I was a federal flunky, there were times in deep December and January when I went to work in the dark, sat in my windowless office or in meetings in windowless conference rooms all day, then went home in the dark. That’s when the winter blues were the worst for me.

Science has shown SAD (apt acronym) is real and has everything to do with the changing amounts of light when falls winds down into winter. Spending the daylight hours outdoors and having bright light while you’re inside helps. What doesn’t help is having a solid week of gloomy, overcast, rainy days in the first half of fall, which is how it’s been here in my part of the Shenandoah Valley. The desire to write is there, but the desire to act on it isn’t.

Yesterday, I sat through a marathon of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, six hours by the way, with an open laptop on my lap, and managed maybe a couple hundred words on a story I started before the gloom descended. You might say that watching the work of Jane Austen was daunting, but I usually find Ms. Austen inspiring. No, I couldn’t get the house bright enough, even with every light available on–Dominion Virginia Power will be happy, though. Though I’d had just over eight hours of sleep the night before, I took a two-hour nap late in the afternoon and woke feeling underwhelmed.

I’m sure today when I go back and look at the little bit I wrote yesterday, I’ll likely hit delete a lot. Given how scrambled my brain was, I doubt any of it is worth keeping.

Somewhat like this blog post, I suspect.

I’m seeing the sky brightening a bit, I have a luncheon engagement to get me out of the house, but, frankly, I’m too SAD to be enthused about any of it. As I posted on Facebook yesterday, “If the sun doesn’t shine soon, I’m going to curl up in a fetal position and gibber.”

Gibbering, now.