Daily Archives: December 4, 2006

My Least Productive Month

Even though this picture has nothing to do with writing and it isn’t a good idea to post pictures of children on the Internet, I couldn’t resist sharing this one of my grandson enjoying his first birthday cake. To preserve his anonymity, I won’t tell you his name or where he’s from, but isn’t he gorgeous!?

Okay, enough proud Nana. Back to writer-mode and why December is my least productive month.

I think it’s safe to assume I’m not the only person in a creative field who finds it hard to focus on work during this busy time of year. Actually I begin to lose focus and concentration around Halloween. That’s when I start making shopping lists and thinking about menus for Thanksgiving, especially on those years when it’s my turn to hostess–this year’s a double whammy with hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides shopping and baking and cleaning and Christmas cards and newsletters and planning entertainment for my guests, I find myself caught up in the spirit of things. I enjoy the weather and carols and friends and all those added activities of the season. Writing and writing related activities fall to the bottom of my to do list.

I am determined this month will be different. But how to stay focused and actually accomplish something when all I want to do is go to parties, try new recipes, and watch old movies.

I am currently in the editing stages of my latest WIP. If I want to see this book published in the first half of 2008, I need to get it in the hands of my editor and my publisher in January. That’s the thing about writing that most non-writers don’t realize. The publishing schedule is usually at least a year ahead, even in the big New York houses. I have a reader who constantly asks me when she can expect my next book. She never likes my answers. In this case, the next book will be out June ’08. She told me she always thought a writer takes a few months to write a book, sends it in, and within a month or two, they have a book in their hands. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Consequently, my motivation for staying on course with this book throughout December is that I want to see it published in ’08. A goal that seems far reaching to those outside the publishing field, but realistic for those who understand how the system works.

Today is December 4th, 21 short days until Christmas Day. About eighteen days before I throw my hands in the air and forget about writing altogether and just relax and enjoy the holidays with my family. As of this moment, I am determined to work like a crazy woman until then. Who knows what tomorrow might bring…an invitation to another party, a Christmas card from someone I haven’t heard from in a long time who requires a long reply, trouble on my website that requires my immediate attention and takes me farther from my book.

Working for one’s self is a blessing in many ways, but it can equally be a curse. I make my own schedule which leaves plenty of room for fooling around and wasting a day without even realizing it. So back to work. We’ll see how things stand next week when I only have 14 days till Christmas and probably just as much work to do.

Peace and Love to All.
Teresa Slack

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