Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's that time of year???

By Lonnie Cruse

The Holiday Season. Shopping. Parties. Family and Friends. Cookies. Fudge. Decorating. Fighting the Cold Weather. Fighting the Cold in Your Nose. Fighting the Crowds. Wrapping. Baking. Cooking. EATING.

Writing? When??? Tough time of year for writers. If you are writing a manuscript, when do you find time? How do you find the concentration? How can you write the tough, gritty scenes, the tear-jerking scenes, when all around you are celebrating and enjoying the season?

Or you've written a manuscript but you can't submit it anywhere now because most agents, editors, or publishers take December off to, um, enjoy the season. How do you handle that? Even the printers take time off, so getting books for your events in December can be tricky. And even though books are a popular gift, sales do tend to drop off around now. Sigh.

What if, like me, you have a book coming out this month? How do you promote it, write another, and do all the seasonal stuff? It isn't easy. And it's not a lot of fun.

To date, I've written not a word since, uh, well, I can't remember when. Not a syllable on the next book. I'm soooo far behind, I'm ahead. Well, I did get a manuscript critiqued, polished, and ready for submission early next year (eeeek, can next year really be less than 30 days away???) But I'm not writing. Or promoting my series in print. I'm promoting the daylights out of my new book that came out this week, Fifty-Seven Heaven. Crossing my fingers and praying that it sells well. But I'm not writing. Well, not on paper.

So what's my point. I have one around here somewhere. Let me look . . . oh, there it is.

The holiday season is tough on writers. Did I mention that already? Tough to focus. Tough to hang in there. But we do hang in there, and eventually we focus again. And we write again. I said I wasn't writing, not on paper. But I'm writing in my head. Laying the story out. So when I'm done overdosing on peanut butter fudge and sugar cookies, I can come out of my stupor and write the story. I've already hit one snag in my head, trying to figure out how I can have my amateur sleuth call the cops without having her meet with the law enforcement character from my other series (both are set in the same town.) I know some authors have their characters from separate series meet to solve crimes together. Mine refuse to work together. Puts them in a snit if I even contemplate it. So I'm working that out. Meanwhile, I think I'll have another chocolate covered pretzel and think some more.

Anyone else having this problem? If so, how are you handling it? Sugar overloaded minds want to know.


Julia Buckley said...

Oh, I'm having the problem all right, but I figure this isn't the time to write. This is the time to LIVE, and we can use our experiences in our writing later. I always find January to be a nice, fresh, wonderful time to start something new, and I plan to do just that during my Christmas holidays.

Meanwhile, congrats on the book and just keep reminding people: books are the best Christmas presents!

Darlene Ryan said...

I tend to do a lot of outlining this time of year and leave the heavy writing to January when it's too cold to do anything else.

Sandra Parshall said...

I can usually write regardless of what's happening. I kept writing after 9/11 -- having a story to concentrate on was a blessing. Right now, though, I'm between books, and that's a tough time for me, no matter what the season. Too much free mental space allows the self-doubts to creep in. If I were well into a book, I would just keep going. I would come to the computer on Christmas day and try to get at least a little writing done.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Great thoughts, ladies! I'm thinking of getting started now instead of waiting until January. We'll see.