How to Use the Seasons to Inspire Your Writing

How to Use the Seasons to Inspire Your Writing

Don’t tell me I’m the only one who has ever sat down with the intention of writing an article, a short story, or a poem, without the slightest idea what to actually write about. The adage tells us ‘write what you know’, so many people base their stories on people in their life, or articles and blog posts on current events, what’s in style at that moment and what’s trending on social media. All engaging, I’m sure, but in a week, a month or a year’s time when you look back, will the words resonate?

No matter what, it is the rhythm of nature that we can depend upon. Change will come. It might arrive in different ways, at unexpected times, or it might creep upon you unnoticed, but it is inevitable. So why not write with it?

Spring

Spring is the time of new life and of hope for the year ahead. Notice all the growth in your garden or on the trees that line the streets and try to capture this unfurling in your writing. Make note of when these changes are occurring and how quickly life evolves. At Easter turn your focus to the animal world and write of nesting birds, cotton wool cloud lambs and yellow chicks.

Make sure to observe and write about the colour green. Whether the zest of chartreuse leaves in the bright morning sunshine; the olive green of hidden undergrowth; or the pea green of fresh shoots emerging from the soil; the colour green dominates the natural world, building in vibrancy as the season progresses.

Summer

Summer is all about sensations: the warm rain that splatters your cheeks, the heat of late evening sunshine and the pungent smell of strawberries picked and eaten within moments. This season write about these sensorial experiences, experimenting with synaesthesia (using words figuratively to evoke responses from multiple senses, e.g. cool colours, the silent sun) for effect.

Make sure to observe and write about the colour blue. The sky stretches, its brilliant blue fading only slightly as the cirrus clouds appear and move over the horizon. It is mirrored in the dazzles of the ocean, peppered only by gulls dropping swiftly, eyeing up their next meal.

Autumn

Autumn often hints at an appearance once or twice before it well and truly arrives. This cusp of seasonal change between late summer and early autumn is one of the most evocative times of the year and warrants more pages than the rest of the year combined in my journal. It’s also the time of year to be thankful for all the blessings in your life, so pick up your pen and ponder what’s good right now.

Make sure to observe and write about the colour gold. It’s everywhere at this time of year: in that hour before sunset when the light glitters gold on everything it touches; on the leaves that crisp and fall and cluster into corners; and on the skins of squashes ripe and ready for storage.

Winter

Winter is a time for celebration: of advent, the winter solstice, and of course Christmas. Frost covers and shrivels the clustered leaves of autumn and the blood spots of red berries on the hedgerows, leaving just enough for the birds to peck and forage for. Come January, choose yourself a word of the year to focus your creativity for the months ahead. Use it as inspiration, as guidance and as a goal to reach towards, even in those dark moments of despair that we all experience at one time or another.

Make sure to observe and write about the colour white. Whether it is the first snow of the season that dyes the patchwork fields the same hue, the pearls of hope as snowdrops droop out of their green pouches, or the vast whiteness of the winter sky, white dominates the season.

Looking for more?

If you're interested or intrigued by the idea of using the rhythm of nature to inspire your creative acts, then my new e-book is perfect for you. It focuses on seasonal creativity and includes helpful resources and guidance to inspire you to create unique and personal content.

Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.