Monday, December 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas is Like Writing--Sort Of

Well, so much for keeping up with the 12 days of Christmas. I couldn't even keep up online with the poem.

Our family also did the 12 days before Christmas for a couple of families in our neighborhood. It started out fun. My oldest son home (2 oldest kids, a girl and a boy, are on missions) got busy and made some goodies. The kids were so excited about leaving a small gift, ringing the doorbell and then hiding. By the time we got to about day seven, the novelty had worn off and we were begging (read-threatening) the kids to do the task. We also had run out of gift ideas, and had to get pretty creative. My oldest son home loves to bake, but sometimes he planned to make something but never did, leaving us without a gift to leave. My husband pitch-hit for me one night, while I was at a dinner party. He bought root beer and ice cream and left them on our friends' doors. The whole thing was fun, but more stressful than it ought to have been.

We learned some lessons from the experience, though. Mostly, we learned the importance of planning ahead. When we had done the 12 days years ago, we planned the whole thing out, even purchased all the gifts up front and wrote clever poems for each day, so that we knew exactly what we were giving on what days. We also went as a whole family (9 of us) to deliver the gifts, rather than relying on 2 or 3 swift-footed children. Probably the likelihood of getting caught was higher, but we all got in on the fun.

What does this have to do with writing? Believe it or not, I can see some parallels. Planning ahead in writing would include things like outlining and setting a time to write. Outlining a novel is like purchasing all 12 gifts ahead of time and knowing what gift to give on what days. Setting aside time is like deciding who will ring the doorbell each night, and making sure you go before it gets too late (one night we cut it pretty close at just after 10). Without a good plan, time gets wasted and the task becomes more stressful than it needs to be.

The good news is that our friends had no idea how much effort and stress went into leaving a gift on their door each night. They loved the nightly surprises and it made their Christmas that much merrier. I think the same can be said about a completed novel. Your readers will have no idea how much time and stress went into creating the book, but it will bring them joy and make their lives more meaningful for having read it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the Seventh Day of Christmas

Oops. I got behind. Okay, here are days six and seven:

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

Seven hours of sleeping,
Six custom edits,

Five blogger comments,
Four sharpened pencils,
Three conference tickets,
Two mugs of cocoa,
And a ream of paper under my tree.

Friday, December 17, 2010

On The Fifth Day of Christmas...

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,

Five blogger comments!

Four sharpened pencils,
Three conference tickets,
Two mugs of cocoa,
And a ream of paper under my tree.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On The Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Four sharpened pencils,
Three conference tickets,
Two mugs of cocoa,
And a ream of paper under my tree.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the Third Day of Christmas...

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,

Three Conference Tickets!
Two mugs of cocoa
And a ream of paper under my tree

Happy third day of Christmas. Keep writing!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Writerly Christmas

Hey, just for fun, I want to do a 12 days of Christmas for writers. Today is actually the second day of Christmas, so we need to come up with the first and second days of Christmas.

What would you give a writer on the First and Second Days of Christmas? If it rhymes the way the original song does, so much the better. Let's see what kinds of fun things we can come up with.

Here's my contribution: On the first day of Christmas my writing friends gave to me a ream of paper under my tree.

On the second day of Christmas my writing friends gave to me two mugs of cocoa and a ream of paper under my tree.

What are your ideas? Leave a comment and let's see who can come up with some really creative ideas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Busy Time of Year

I keep thinking life will slow down and I'll have plenty of time to do the things I enjoy and want to do, but never seem to find time to do. Unfortunately, life never does slow down.

This is a busy time of year for my Etsy store. I have been knitting hats every spare moment, and I am still stressing about whether I can get them all done before Christmas. I sent 9 hats to Canada a few days ago. Now I am working on the next projects.

Meanwhile, I entered several of my items in a 3-day small boutique over this past weekend and made $200! I was thrilled. I even got several special orders--which are due before Christmas.

The thing I have not been able to make time for is writing. I have completely stopped working on my writing projects. Maybe I need to get up earlier. I just don't seem to have enough hours in the day for everything I need to do.

How do you make time for writing?