Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Frenzy

The holidays are approaching and along with them comes the frenzy of gift buying, writing greeting cards, shopping online, planning family dinners, and attending parties. Who can write with such distractions? It used to be, when I wrote one book a year for Kensington, that I could program in time off during this season. But since my current deadlines are self-imposed, this doesn’t hold true anymore.

My goal is to submit my next mystery within the next two weeks. I am going through my second round of self-edits now and am two-thirds of the way through. Then I have to comply with the publisher’s formatting guidelines, make sure I have the front and back end material, and complete the ancillary forms that have to be sent with the manuscript.

All this while roofers are banging overhead to replace our tile roof. Oh, and it’s also our anniversary this month. So as you can see, it's hard for me to concentrate on work-related issues. I've had to vacate my home office when the roofing guys start banging over my head and plaster drifts down from the ceiling.

If I ever finish this project and send it in, I plan to take a few weeks off just to get caught up on mail, to enjoy seasonal events, and to start on tax records. That’s the beauty of setting your own deadlines. You can take time off when necessary.

Do you figure in a break during this season or do you plow ahead? That’s assuming your editor doesn’t send you page proofs or edits with one week to turn them around. And do you do anything special for your fans during the holidays?

10 comments:

  1. Start on tax records?! Ulp! I'd better find that pile of receipts and assorted other docs and start getting organized!

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  2. I can't seem to help it. 1k a day is wired into me.

    What exactly is a "break"?

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  3. I know I need a break, James, when so many things are happening that I can't focus. Sometimes it's best to get those other things off the slate and then return to work. Like gift shopping, writing greeting cards, planning family outings, etc. This time of year is always crazy.

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  4. Jodie, that's right, tax season is almost upon us. As soon as we put away the holiday decorations, it's that time of year again.

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  5. I had good intentions of not being on deadline during year end like I've done for years. I moved a deadline into 2013, but promo for my Dec 18th release is slamming me. So I've got to get it all done AND act like I'm relaxed for the holidays. But I'm thankful for everything on my plate. Happy holidays, Nancy. Good luck on your proposal.

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  6. Break?

    Oh...yes, I've heard of those. As soon as I finish editing this low budget movie, recording the next audiobook in the queue, starting the next next audiobook in the queue, finishing the draft of own next novel, and doing my taxes I might have a couple of hours a night for a week or two before the next major barn stormer comes barreling in.

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  7. I handed in two books in November, so thus far December has been blissfully free...free to catch up on all the minutaie, that is. I'm chipping away at my colossal to do list, slowly but surely. I was hoping to edit another book this month, but so far, that's not happening.

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  8. Jordan, December releases are really tough. I had them for years with my Bad Hair Day mysteries. It can make you nuts between promotion and holiday events. Good luck to you during this hectic time. Hopefully people will put your book on their gift lists.

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  9. Basil, it sounds as though you will need a break after you get all that done!

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  10. Michelle, enjoy your down time. I'm looking forward to it once I submit my current project. Things build up in the To-Do pile and that's the time to get them done.

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