Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Climate of Creativity

I grew up in Ohio, where the weather is as unpredictable as the number of cows you might see driving to work each day. One thing is guranteed, however: each winter it will snow. Down parkas will be worn and driving conditions will be challenging.

Having lived in Texas for a while now, I have shed my winter skin, so to speak. My blood has thinned to the point that I find myself shivering in 50 degree weather. And yet, there is a part of me that has begun to miss the cold, ice and snow. I've found myself less productive at home, more liable to run out into the sunshine and throw a frisbee that my dog will watch soar away before staring up at me as if to ask, "Why the hell did you just do that?" I'm far more willing to go out with friends on a warm evening, not to mention the fact that there are far more festivals and outdoor activities that tempt me (never been much on skiing or sledding, though I do miss the Toboggan Run near Cleveland).

So, is there a negative correlation here between my ability to put out pages of writing and the warmer climate? I wonder this as I sit today, at my computer, blocked on a project that I had planned to finish by the end of the year. Curiously, on a cold day here (again, 50 degrees) I wrote more words than I had the preceding week.

I haven't found much in the way of research about this subject. Climate & Creativity, but I did find an article about Innovation (business speak for creativity) and climate from which I found a passage that alluded to the fact that yes, climate does impact creative output. Unfortunately, said article won't be cited here because it was incredibly vague.

The number of creative writers living on the East Coast is fuel for my argument. But then, California is a counter-argument. I'm going to investigate this further as Chris and I discuss where to move... Then again, it really all boils down to where we can find jobs and cheap housing. Art can't be created without food, after all. And student loans loom like the fattest, most ominous winter storm clouds, even here in San Antonio.

1 comment:

  1. Ha - "student loans loom like the fattest, most ominous winter storm clouds..." Brilliant!

    Hey, I grew up in Ohio too, but am now a Chicagoan. Went from cold to colder and windy.

    Stephen King and John Irving would certainly subscribe to the theory that cold climate = prolific output! ;)


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