A Favorite Month

January is one of my favorite months. Yes, it’s gray and damp and all that excitement from the holidays is over. I love January though, because we’re done with all that holiday hoopla and people are petered out from being on the go, so everyone seems to step back from the fray a bit. I imagine people having a collective satisfied sigh of relaxation and catch up, of tucking into movies and football games and stew. For me, that satisfied sigh is my return to writing. In December, I long for time to write and don’t find much of it because the things that December is made of:  gatherings and gifts and going here and going there, demand my active attention. Every December, I finally surrender and say, “I’m going to make it okay to not write this month.” But the longer I’m away from it, the more I worry that I won’t be able to start again, that somehow I’ll have forgotten how, that I’m fooling myself if I think I’m a writer if I take a whole month away from writing. I get tense and anxious and a little bit cranky.

But by January, time opens up and I finally, finally, sit down at my computer. The words come easy. The relief is huge. I didn’t forget how. I still love to write. I can still write. I feel a loosening in me, the anxiety eases. I’m nicer to be around.

This cycle has happened often enough over the years that I’ve learned to trust it, even while I’m having that edgy anxious feeling, those worries. Every January I remember how it works:  all that time not actually sitting at my computer is writing time too. Sometimes the words need to sit, they need to bunch up together and make their own stew, not be tended carefully by my active mind. In January, I love welcoming those words to the page.

What months are your favorites, for writing or for whatever it is you like to do?

Jackie Shannon Hollis