There is nothing worse for a wood worker’s spirit than the winter blues. I find that during the winter months I get little accomplished on new or unfinished projects. Even if my will to get out it my shop is still burning strong, the cold can quickly change that. I say all of this because I know other woodworkers get the winter blues and so I thought I would share a few ideas that help me get through it with 3 simple steps: prevention, action and reaction.
The first way to cure winter blues is to prevent them before they take hold. Keep active with other woodworkers. Whether you have friends you often work with or sites and forums you’re in online, stay connected and continue to learn about the craft. Just following someone else’s builds and watching others create will keep your motivation alive.
With your will still beating, just spend time in your shop, even if there are no projects on the go. Look around and find ways you can improve the work space. It may be small things like reorganizing or you may find new jigs or small renovations to do. Look through your lumber pile and see what pieces inspire you. Grab some scrap wood and practice turning or cutting joinery. Just by being in the shop you won’t get to the point where the blues destroy your wood working dreams.
If the cold is taking a hold on you or the snow is pushing you inside, it is time to react with your last line of defence; if you can’t bring yourself into the shop, bring the shop to you. Take in some hand tools and do some sharpening. Grab your hand planes and resurface them and/or clean them up. Work on something small like a carving or repair some things around the house. If you have some new projects in your head it’s the perfect time to pull out a pencil and paper or get on Sketchup.
Hopefully now you may be a little more prepared to face the rest of the winter season. Through staying connected to others working in the craft and being active in your own shop and home, the winter blues may become a thing of the past.
Let me know how you get through the winter blues or ways to keep warm in your shop.