Um, yeah. How do you do that?
I’m not sure I’ve entirely figured that one out. The good news is, I’ve been under contract with a publishing house nearly every holiday season for the past dozen or so years. The bad news is, that means I’ve got a deadline staring me in the face every year all through the holidays.
Which means I have to stay focused and on task in November and December. Yes, I’m longing to go Christmas shopping (or Hanukkah shopping–our family goes both ways). I’m dreaming of baking Christmas (or Hanukkah) cookies. I’m jonesing to go up the hill to one of the local tree farms to cut down my tree. But I can’t just take off all the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas (much as I might wish it) because that darn book isn’t going to write itself.
So what do I do? I do cut myself some slack. I choose a day or afternoon for the tree cutting, for the baking, for the decorating. I work hard on the days when I don’t have holiday festivities planned and get as much written as I can. I tend to do the Christmas shopping in one fell swoop, demanding a list from everyone, and storm the stores on a weekday when they’re less busy. And I keep an eye on my word count and the number of days remaining until the deadline.
I do find it annoying to have to write during the holidays. Even worse, my birthday is smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, so there’s another distraction. But I also know that I’m very lucky to be working under contract, to have that deadline, so who am I to gripe?
How about you? How do you keep working during the holidays? Christmas carols on or off? Christmas cookies stacked on your desk? Is your office decorated? I wanna know how the rest of you do it.