Our Team Reveals How They Get and Stay Cozy in the Winter …
“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.” ― Ben Aaronovitch, Broken Homes
Ah, winter is here with its colder temps and shorter days. For us writers, it means we have an excuse to snuggle up on our couch with a blanket and a book or our laptop. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? We asked our team members what are some of the ways they get cozy during the winter months. Here’s what they said …
Jennifer Chauhan, co-founder and executive director of Project Write Now, said:
This may sound counterintuitive but I first get cozy by going outdoors and walking in nature. I’m on day 105 of my yearlong daily walk and I can’t believe I am saying this, but I have fallen in love with winter. There’s something exquisite about crisp air and bare trees against a bright gray sky. I then love to step inside to warmth by the fire, snuggling under a blanket (I bought my daughters these blankets one Christmas but somehow I’ve ended up with them) and opening up either my laptop to write (or to catch up on work) or a good book to read. With my Rishi turmeric ginger tea in hand, my legs outstretched on the ottoman beneath my blanket, the fire flickering beside me, I feel not only cozy but also content.
Most days, after lunch, I cuddle up in bed, three flannel-covered pillows behind my head, a fourth under my knees. A pile of fluffy blankets is a must, including the softer-than-velvet purple one my DIL gave me last Christmas. And I can’t forget the rainbow prayer shawl around my shoulders, a souvenir of a long-ago winter retreat week. Best of all—besides my super-loaded Kindle, of course—is a cup of mint tea in my brand new Ember smart mug, which keeps my beverage at a perfect 142 degrees. Cozy, yes! Last but not least, with the leaves off the trees, all this lazing about is embellished by the low sun streaming the gold hour into my domain. (P.S. Dozing not required, but certainly encouraged!)
I tend to feel somewhat isolated and cut off from human contact during the colder months. Therefore, this is when I prefer to leave my house and find communal writing spaces. I don’t even mind noisy places like coffee shops, because I can tune out distractions and tune into my work, and have a hot cup of tea and a sweet treat at the same time. I sometimes take my laptop over to Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ, and get my body moving (and blood flowing) with long walks to break up the writing session. Or I just people-watch and feel less isolated and alone. Writers spend so much time alone that having other people around—even strangers—can create a sense of inner coziness.
Speaking of Bell Works, Project Write Now is hosting an open mic and workshop there on Tuesday, January 31, starting at 5 p.m. Learn more & register here.
This time of year, when all the holiday decorations come down, the house feels bare. I miss the warm lights and the lush greens. To make things cozy, I like to keep flowers around the house to add life and a little pop of color.
Our program coordinator, writing instructor, and heart and soul of PWN, Lisa Hartsgrove, said:
I recently moved to a new place, and it’s important to me that it feels like home. I’ve created that cozy feeling in a couple of ways:
1. My cat is here. (Home is wherever my cat is.)
2. Every few weeks, I’ve started burning palo santo or sage to clear the negative energy.
3. I forged a creative space, specifically for writing and art, so I can be in the right mindset when I’m ready to imagine.
4. I light candles every night, even if I’m only going to be home and up to appreciate them for a few minutes. The act of lighting the candles helps me remember to be present.
5. And I’ve hung thirsty plants around so I have to stop and water them as a daily practice. As I do, I am always sure to greet them, taking notice of new leaves.
Liz Jannuzzi, our operations and communications manager, said:
Brrr. Lately, I’ve been getting a chill that’s hard to get rid of. Sometimes I have to wear gloves on my hands so I can continue to type. If that doesn’t work, I head to the bath for a hot hot soak. I usually bring the latest copy of The New Yorker to read.