Jilly: Lighter Days Are Coming

Are you enjoying the holidays? It’s been a year like no other, but hopefully you’re managing to find a silver lining under all that cloud.

Over the last few days I’ve started to feel really energized. It’s not Christmas (bah, humbug!). It’s partly the prospect of a new year—I’m all in favor of putting 2020 to bed, and I love the idea of a fresh start, even if my rational self knows New Year’s Eve is an artificial construct. Mostly I’m super-happy because we’ve passed the winter solstice.

Last Monday, 21stDecember, was the shortest day and longest night of the year for people living in the northern hemisphere. In London the day was a tad short of 7 hours 50 minutes. Contrast that with the 12 hours of daylight we enjoy on the Spring equinox, and more than 16 hours on the summer solstice.

Long summer days are lovely, of course, but for me trends and momentum are more influential. At some subliminal level I notice when every day is a little lighter and longer than the one before, and I start to feel amazingly empowered and creative. Almost superhuman. It doesn’t matter that we’re still in winter, that the weather may be grim and the nights will be longer than the days for another three months. We’re heading toward the light 🙂 .

I’ve experienced this excited, fizzy feeling almost every year for as long as I can remember. I typically get ever more inspired and enthusiastic until May or June, sometimes right up to the summer solstice. Then my subconscious tends to down tools for a vacation and resists like mad if I try to start new creative projects in the fall. I always do better working on housekeeping and closing out projects, which is why I’ve chosen to edit in the autumn and publish in December.

All of which means that right now, time’s a-wasting. I need to roll up my sleeves and get to work on the next Elan Intrigues book, The Seeds of Destiny, or Annis’s book, ASAP. I’ve been thinking a lot about it over the last week or so and I feel ready to settle down and start writing.

I still have a little more housekeeping to finish up—I need to get The Pulse of Princes, my Elan Intrigues prequel novella, formatted and set up as a free download for mailing list subscribers. I have a few tweaks to make to my website. And of course I will enjoy the rest of the holidays, right up until New Year’s Day. But I can feel my energy building, and I feel excited to make a new start.

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you’re looking forward to good times ahead 🙂 .

Are you a seasonal creature? Do you have a favorite day or time of the year?

6 thoughts on “Jilly: Lighter Days Are Coming

  1. Like you, I take the Winter Solstice very seriously indeed! While Autumn is my favourite time of year, for me, the start of the year – I should have been a teacher – the dark days of November just make me want to hibernate! So come December 21, when we’re adding a minute here and a minute there to the day, I’m rejoicing. Wishing you all creative energy, and a happy new year!

    • Isn’t it surprising that we’re so sensitive to a couple of minutes more light each day? I love that feeling of waking up in the morning and thinking “wow, it’s light!” or suddenly noticing that there’s still daylight in late afternoon/then at dinnertime/even around bedtime in high summer.

      And a happy, healthy, creative new year to you, too!

  2. How interesting.

    I love the winter solstice because, like you, I take heart in the lengthening days, but for me that pop of energy comes in the fall. Going by your logic, my new year starts in autumn, when we returned to school as children. That sense of waning daylight and cooler, shorter days tells me it’s time to get back in the chair and create.

    Now you have me wondering if I should set up a schedule to take better advantage of that mindset.

    • So interesting that your pop of extra energy comes in the fall. I wonder if you’ve naturally been taking advantage of it anyway? If, like me, you save your WIPs on a regular basis, you could take a look through the dates and see if you spot any patterns. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that this time of year is when your creative productivity really ramps up.

  3. Interesting how people’s creativity/depression is affected by different seasons. I’ve always found fall to be the most depressing season as we prepare for dark, cold days ahead. Knowing death lies before us! And school! I *never* wanted to go back to that. My favorite season is spring—late spring, anyway—when trees are popping green and flowers are bursting out. I’m not sure I can tie that sense of joy and relief (still alive!) to creativity, because so many other things also seem to affect my energy levels. But I do like the renewal feeling I get from the warmer, longer days.

    • I love that trees-and-flowers time too, Kay! London has so many green spaces and the public parks are always gorgeous. A few years ago I worked with a guy from Sweden, one of the most northerly capitals in the world, and he was almost giddy during his first spring here.

      Here’s hoping for good news on the pandemic front by next spring, and an extra strong feeling of joy and relief for all!

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