WRITING – Do You Write Better When The Sun Is Shining Or When It’s Cold And Miserable?

I flipped on the TV last night just to relax with an hour of mindless nothingness and was pleasantly surprised to see an interview between Mark Lawson and Michael Palin. Great. Feet up.  Glass of something mildly alcoholic. Just the job.

Now for non-UK readers Mark Lawson is a good interviewer. He knows how to bring out the best in the person being interviewed without being too pushy or over the top. He also knows his stuff. Art, culture, film and TV, the media, he’s on the ball.

Michael Palin of course was one of the original ‘Pythons’ (Monty Python…Monty Python’s Flying Circus)….who has also had a successful solo TV career – Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole, Himalayas…..again I think you get the picture.

Now to the point of this post….they were chatting about how the Python team wrote the ridiculously funny sketches and in particular the film screenplays (The Life of Brian etc)……and seemingly in the Pythons there were two contrasting views on how they should write, and where.

John Cleese and  Eric Idle were all for going off somewhere exotic and hot to write…..to enjoy themselves, make it like a party, let themselves go wild….and also come up with funny ideas and write them down between drinks and falling in the pool.

Michael Palin and Terry Jones preferred the opposite….opting to stay at home in London under grey leaden skies, frozen stiff, with the cold and rain forcing them to bunker down and do nothing but write. The ‘life in the sun’ could wait until later as a kind of reward for all their hard work.

So which is the better way to work?

Well, only the individual writer can decide that. What would you do? Which would you choose? And which method would produce the best results?

I used to co-write bits and pieces with a chum and I would often suggest if we had something important and immediate to write that we should jet off somewhere hot and exotic (well at least scenic) and spend a week writing non-stop whatever we had to come up with….okay, a few beers in the evening would be pleasant, but even then we’d expect to chat about ‘the script’.

But it never happened. Life and families and other distractions got in the way. Pity. It would have been interesting to see if we could have done it….or even done it ‘better’ whatever that means.

And these days?

Well, I really do enjoy writing in winter. Bunkering down is my thing. I enjoy locking the door, drawing the curtains, turning up the heating, and settling down to work in a small room (not the smallest room obviously, although…..no, we’ll not go there for now, thankyou)…..

Yep, give me the cold and the rain and the general miserableness and dullness of winter in the U.K. Well, it works for me. How about yourself?


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I help new writers become published authors through self-publishing. I also offer writers the chance to have their work converted into Kindle eBooks and publish them on the Amazon Kindle store.

13 responses to “WRITING – Do You Write Better When The Sun Is Shining Or When It’s Cold And Miserable?”

  1. VictoriaJoDean says :

    interesting – I’m not sure the weather factors into my equation of when to write – it’s the rest of life that intrudes – how to find the spot alone and undisturbed so that the writing can flow – now that’s a challenge. But when I’m done and want to be back out in the world – that’s when I want sunshine.

  2. Dave Higgins says :

    I bunked off writing last week to spend an afternoon in the sun photographing gravestones, so I would write less in a sunny scenic location.

    • writegoodbooks says :

      Photographing gravestones sounds interesting….

      As for the weather and writing….I must admit a sunny location and being ‘back to nature’ sort of appeals….I can think of a couple of islands in Greece that would fit the bill….but whether I would get any writing done? I’m not sure.

      I really have to give it a try at some point though….

  3. reveriewriter says :

    For me, it’s two sides of the same coin that, when flipped, will either land nice and neat upon my hand or fall onto the floor and roll away under the fridge.
    I love writing on cold, wet, wonderfully stormy days! There’s nothing more atmospheric than a storm and it’s fantastic to fix yourself hot drink after hot drink, pop into your favourite ‘nana’ cardigan with your lovely and fashionable ugboots on, toes pointing out the ends, while you write.
    But it’s also great to be able to get out in the sun, escape for a bit to refresh the mind; the problem with stormy days is that the only escape is rotten old television and I’m kind of fed up with so-called reality TV.
    I think as long as the want and need to write is there, then a person can write no matter the weather … maybe.

  4. andreawildbotero says :

    I’m like you! I definitely need a gloomy day to write… maybe that’s unconsciously why I moved to London 6 months ago! When it’s sunny I just want to be out on the streets singing or something. Can I just say, off this topic, that I really enjoy your blog because it’s sooo easy to read and I am definitely a writer who wants to eventually get published… writing about art. Anyway, thank you!

    • writegoodbooks says :

      A big thank you for the comment and the really encouraging remarks about my blog posts…..I’m just doing my best.

      I hope you get to be published one day…..you seem very clued up and on the ball so I fully expect you to do it, and do it successfully.

      • andreawildbotero says :

        thank you! I will let you know how it goes. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming… like Dory from Nemo hahaha. (LOL) like your post about hanging out with youngsters and starting in abbreviations.. which I seriously avoid. Anyway, talk to you soon.


  5. Maddie Cochere says :

    I am definitely in the pool with John Cleese and Eric Idle. I love writing when the sun shines, the window beside my desk is open, and the breeze is flowing in. But then, I am writing breezy fare, so it seems appropriate.

    I’m enjoying your blog, Steve. I don’t recall how I came to find you, but am very glad I did.

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