Hello Offbeaters! We’ve been trying to keep our season-infected blog posts inclusive and far-reaching, but after buckets of white snow and biting wind here in East Lansing, we must give our writers who are winter warriors a bit of love. (Sorry warm-climate writers, we still love you, we promise).
After some sudden and dreadful weather, we decided to give our Offbeaters a pick-me-up on why maybe this winter won’t be so bad, particularly for writers. We know that scraping ice off cars and frostbitten noses makes you feel some type of way (often horrible), but trust us. Winter can be one hell of a prime time for writers.
Here are our six reasons why:
1.) Unquestioned Hot Beverages
When it comes to caffeinated beverages, us writers like ‘em how we don’t like our books: burning. No matter the time of year, you will always find writers ordering drinks hotter than the surface of the sun. Is it because they warm our icy hearts? Maybe. Is it because we’re broke freelancers and we know that ice in iced drinks only waters down the coffee, thus costing us more money with less caffeinated rewards? Most definitely. But now that it’s winter, your local Starbucks’ line is a judgement free zone when it comes to ordering and consuming hot drinks.
No more “Hot coffee? Its July!”. No more “Why don’t you ever try new drinks? This whipped cream extra iced mocha latte frappuccino is to DIE for!”. No more “Stop huddling over your coffee like its the One Ring, people are starting to stare. And no, being in a swimsuit and muttering ‘my precious’ is not helping”.
Now everyone is getting hot drinks. You are in. You were in before everyone else was in. Its definitely your time to shine and to be sleepless and shamelessly hyped up on your hot, delicious caffeine.
2.) Foolproof Excuses to Stay Inside
There is almost nothing a writer loves more than having an excuse to stay indoors with an aforementioned hot beverage and a half-finished next-great-american novel just waiting to be written. No excuse quite lives up to winter being upon us because not wanting to face the fact the outside makes your face hurt is too real. These icy cold temps and the mountains of snow will seem much more valid to others, so you are free to your creative solitude. And even if they try still, they will have such a harder time trying to justify anything.
See, if they make you go outside, what if you slip on your ass the second you step on your front porch? If you slip and break your leg, you’ll now have at least six months of valid excuses that no one can question. Now their insistence leads to even more problems. They will never pester too fervently again. Its pure genius.
Their eyes might be rolling so hard they shift the earth’s axis, but it works so much better than in summer. This whole logic is so much harder to pull off when its dry and sunny. Winter makes being an excuse-god a cakewalk.
3.) Inspiring Scenery (Inside and Out)
Writers know how to find inspiration in both the best and worst conditions, and depending on who you are winter could either be your most or least favorite time of year. Regardless of which side you take, though, most of us would agree that everything looks better with the winter look of a layer of white-fluffy powder on top of it. (Not that nasty slush, but like all good winter warriors we’ll pretend its not the worst thing until its the worst thing). But, I digress.
With winter also comes the concept of cozying up by the fire and being left to find inspiration in your own thoughts. Or, even that beautiful fireplace. Or the decorations of whatever holiday you celebrate. So, whether we’re cuddled up inside or wandering the winter wonderland, writers have a much easier time finding that sought after inspiration. It may be in the snow, it may be in the conifers, it may be in the warm indoors, it may be in the fact you do not have to be outdoors. Whatever floats your boat.
But winter is so abundant and different the possibilities are everywhere, which makes being a writer neat as hell.
4.) Returning to Holiday Classics
No one knows how to get into the holiday spirit like a writer. Maybe we return to our favorite literary classics like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It could be that we get nostalgic for our childhoods with “The Night Before Christmas” or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Perhaps inspiration for our own holiday-themed novel strikes in the form of dysfunctional family dinners and National Lampoon style series of unfortunate events. No matter what the situation, a writer knows that when it comes to winter, the best way to cope is to read to escape it, or write to remember it.
Ad goodness knows holiday times are ripe for the picking.
5.) The BEST New Year’s Resolutions
The winter season is a special time for those writers who have been looking for a reason to revisit any of their half-finished pieces (which we all know can sometimes be a disturbing volume). New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to kick yourself in the butt and find the motivation needed to make that half-finished piece into a masterpiece. Or maybe your New Year’s Resolution is to finally hunker down and start writing that piece you’ve been thinking about for months or years.
Or maybe your resolution is to stop eating peanut butter straight from the jar, and stop being hard on your kid sister, and stop being in denial about the anxieties that plague your daily life, and as you sit here writing it you realize that maybe you shouldn’t have let your goldfish die in second grade and perhaps writing can be a good bit of self-reflection and learning for you and you should actively work to do it more to keep your sanity hinged.
Really, you do you.
No matter what your resolution is, though, ring in 2017 doing what writers love most: writing.
6.) Volume 17 of The Offbeat Comes Out
The cold-winter months can sometimes bring out the oddities in all of us. Luckily as writers we’re able to embrace our weirdness much better than the average person by reading or writing about it. Let us now casually and shamelessly plug ourselves while also praise writers for being strong, zany people. One of the best places to find a collection of some of the quirkiest short stories and poems is in The Offbeat Volume 17, which is scheduled to come out in January. There’s not many better ways to spend your spare time this winter season than with Volume 17 of The Offbeat in one hand and a warm cup of cocoa in the other.
So yes, winter-stricken writers and warm writers alike, we sincerely hope you enjoy being praised as the kookiest, most fabulous people of winter (and all year round, really). We’d love any and all of you to submit the stories that come to you this winter that are out there and offbeat and at the same time just right. Let your inner offbeat fly onto pages and then send those pages to us.
Let us inspire you. Let us praise you. Let us publish you. Let us all be weird, and quirky, and zany together. We’re Offbeaters after all, and The Offbeat is always there for all things odd (including writers). Even cold and sometimes merciless winter can’t keep a good writer down.
Happy holidays, Offbeaters. These Thursday posts are on hiatus until January 12th, but the weekly Offbeat recommendations and several recurring Twitter campaigns (EX: Fun Fact Friday, etc.) will remain. We’ll miss you, but are overdue for a little break. See you all next year!
Get caffeinated, keep writing, and stay weird.
(This post is accredited to our design team members, Hally Darnell and Jonathan Shead)