We used to try booking shows in the winter. We don’t anymore. We found that most venues in our area—especially distinct to the upper midwest—take a step back from heavily booking acts during the colder months. We spent a lot of wasted energy and frustration before we figured this out. Now we’ve learned to redirect that energy into what we call creative hibernation.
Most people consider hibernation a state of complete inactivity. This is true in one sense, but is really a different kind of activity. Animals that enter a season of hibernation do so to conserve energy when their food supply is scarce. Their bodies go into a state of “slowing down” in order to make it to the next season and handle its requirements. This is a good model for the artist.
When performance opportunities are scarce, we conserve our energy by redirecting it into other creative work. The winter months are now a time when we invest in songwriting and recording, to both improve our craft and build up new material. It’s a season to slow down, because the work requires more reflection and thought: a different kind of activity, vital to the life of an artist and their work.
Creative hibernation prepares us for the busier performance seasons during the spring and summer, when we have less time to write and record. It improves our skills and gives us more artistic stock to share with our audience—making a happier, healthier artist.