I tell people that around the “holidays” new writing becomes a bit of a scarcity.
We just find ourselves busy preparing for the holidays and visitors coming from out of town and big meals that we have to fix, and we are not doing our regular writing routines.
That can start anywhere from mid November (or if you’re lucky maybe you continue doing your normal writing routine past that), but for most of us by early December to mid December…
…we aren’t getting much done in the way of writing!!!
And that’s okay!
The non writing lull can and maybe should continue into the new year and a little longer. That that’s what people don’t remember. They think January 2nd or so the routine is back in full swing.
At work, I have found it takes ’til about January 15 before everything is running smoothly.
We may start back to work on January 2 but things are not running at regular speed until a few days later
or possibly even longer than that.
Which is why I say estimate January 15 for your writing routine to be back on track – because unfortunately that tends to come after life and school and work and… other things.
It’s not a big deal if you’re not back in full swing by January 15th.
I wasn’t. And that’s VERY unusual for me.
Now, while I sit here and lament how behind I am in everything, I also put out another children’s book, so you gotta take some of this with a grain of salt.
I feel completely overwhelmed and behind in everything
…buuuut I still managed to put out a book – so how far behind I am I really?
Well, I feel like I’m behind and I guess that’s all that matters.
And if you feel behind in January, I’m trying to tell you: it’s not a big deal.
Some people are going to get back up to speed on January 2 but most of them aren’t going to be back up to speed until the 15th.
And this year if it took it till the 31st, SO BE IT.
But now it’s February.
And actually 1/4 of February is already gone…
And while I wouldn’t exactly panic, I would definitely do a little inventory. Take stock, so to speak.
What are my writing goals for the year?
(In this case I mean what are your writing goals for the year?)
If you had a writing routine last year where you wrote for an hour a day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you need to ask yourself: are you back to that yet?
If you intend to put out X number of books this year (one, two, ten, whatever), that requires writing them AND editing them AND maybe sending them out to beta readers. So if you lay out a calendar and give yourself, say, three months to write your first draft (à la Stephen King’s rule) and then let that rest for a while as you commence your next project, and then Project 1 is continuing to “rest” while you send it to beta readers while you work on Project 2, you are overlapping projects in a very organized manner! And that means you may get three books written and two books published or whatever, but you’ll have an idea – if you lay it all out.
Which… is something I have not done.
At least not as of this writing…
But I’m happy to say I have a book that is absolutely biting on my heels to get published, and I’m very excited about editing it – but to me that almost feels like dessert. Like, I really, really, really, really, really, REALLY want to publish that book! And that means I have to go through it ONE more time (there are things that have to come out of it like a subplot that’s just not working). But it’s my best work ever and I can’t wait to get back to it!
That’s all fine. That’s all part of the editing process and I love it.
I will be so up to my eyeballs in whipped cream doing it
if we are staying with that dessert analogy. Which is starting to feel a little awkward about now.
But I kind of feel like I have to eat my “vegetables” first. Reading and editing stories by my Young Authors and by my amazing Private Critique Group folks, and editing another amazing story from a terrific writer friend – I love, love, LOVE doing these things, so it’s hardly like eating broccoli, but I have to get that done before I can at my book.
That’s only fair.
So that’s what I’ll do. That’s what I am doing. (Actually, I’m getting caught up last week and this week, because I got reeeeeally behind with the last contest entries. Things were crazy in December and early January in part because of that.)
This week looks a LOT better – even if I’d usually be feeling this way mid-January.
And as soon as I am caught up and feel like I have a good balance of all that is going on, then I can move onto dessert and start editing that book. It’s gonna be a blast either way. I love reading the stories people send me and I love editing my own – oh, and I have to start writing my mystery story… That’ll be fun. That’s dessert on top of dessert.
But, uh, when I look at it, it sounds like a lot of stuff.
That can pile up quickly.
I’d better make that calendar up pretty soon!