January is just the worst month, I mean, really. The days are still dark and cold and we don’t have the winter festivals or new years to look forward to. The weather might not be such a blow if we had some money left after the holidays or, the lack of money might not be such a big deal if the weather was better. Our workout regime slipped through December due to all the food and visiting we ate/did, and our New Years resolution is already a fast-fading yet still, somehow guilty memory. To top it all off, all the official Ark: Survival Evolved servers have reverted to x1 rates and everything is a slog, from getting up for work, to harvesting meat for that new boss-rex team you need for ‘Lost Island’.
It’s always around this time of year that my creativity slumps. I mean, there are other times through the year but, I can always reliably and accurately predict that January is going to be a slow writing month. So, what to do about that? ‘Why do anything?’ is my counter-question. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there (there’s a lot of conflicting advice in this blog!) and the reason is simple. People are complicated, no one tip works for everyone and no-one’s circumstances are exactly the same.
It’s a quote I keep coming back to;
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King.
And, at times, I have rebelled against it, I’ve repeatedly espoused that you should ‘Be kind to yourself’, and I still do. January is the toughest of times, creatively, for many reasons so, for this month, forgive yourself that blank page, that unfinished paragraph and pick up a book rather than trying to lay one down. January is the month to huddle under a blanket with a good book, or to binge that new series you told yourself you were going to. It’s a time to recharge your creative batteries.
Societally we place a great deal of emphasis on January and its ‘new beginning’, but we don’t have to listen to all that noise and that’s okay. Now, I could start on about social constructs being just that, constructs, and it being okay to challenge them. I can share my personal philosophy about challenging social expectations (They only have as much authority over you as you allow them), but it’s easier to boil it down to a short phrase.
January can get stuffed!
Of any time in the year (outside of extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances) December/January is the time when you can let it slide and forgive yourself for it. It is okay. Sometimes we need to be told that it’s okay, but there is a caveat to that too. You have to be ready to kick down the doors in February and really try. So, while we celebrate the turn of the Gregorian year in the depth of winter, and Financial New Year in April, and all the cultural/religious/sports even seasons, let us, the creatives, writers and artists, start our own New Years tradition.
January can get in the bin, February 1st is the start of the New Chapter.
Take care, read a good book, recharge and get ready.