Why I Don't Write in December

The quick and easy answer would be I’d just spent 30 days writing 50,000 words, i.e., NaNoWriMo. That is part of it. After 30 days of focusing on a deadline, you can get stretched pretty thin.

But, you say, you generally write every day.

True, but there’s no pressure other than my Type A personality that wants to keep me perpetually busy.

That’s also another reason.

The Holiday Doldrums

I’m not a late-year holiday person. I do Thanksgiving, and I enjoy putting a lovely meal on the table and consuming it with family. It’s more the lead-up to it, the reminders of people who no longer sit at my table. I love it, but I dread it, too. I and a few tens of millions of other people.

Then, boom, right after Thanksgiving is the Christmas rush. Oh yes, I know I could avoid that by beginning to shop in July, but remember? Type A personality. Bring on the pressure; that’s when I succeed.

Winter holidays have been my least favorite time of year for a long time, starting with the first set of them after my father died 37 years ago. Nine years before that, my beloved grandmother died three days before Christmas. Let me tell you, a funeral on Christmas Eve puts a big ole damper on the whole flipping season. There were other deaths and a break-up of a marriage, and I was pretty much anti-holiday.

And Then Came Grandkids

They do give you a different perspective on things when they’re little and you watch their eyes alight with the wonder of the Christmas tree and the holiday decorations. But they get older, and all that effort put out by Mamo (me) isn’t as exciting as it was in the beginning. They become more focused on the day itself, as in, “What did you get me, Mamo, and can I open it now?”

No disparagement. That’s kids for you. I remember feeling the same way.

Add in some seasonal affective disorder, and call me Scrooge. Bah humbug.

Let’s Change It Up

Last year–and I’m not quite sure why–I decided I’d take the month of December “off” from writing and focus mainly on other authorship duties, like marketing and reading. (Yes, reading other people’s books is part of your own authorship.)

I wasn’t sure why I decided to do that, other than after NaNoWriMo, the thought of staring at a computer screen and willing words to appear held no appeal. Not even to edit, which is one of my favorite aspects of writing.

A month off, then, to refresh my brain and start the new year with enthusiasm.

It worked. It worked really well. I figuratively hit the ground running on January 1 with new ideas and renewed energy. In fact, it worked so well, I’m doing it again this year.

Also, it gives me more time for last-minute, holiday-gift shopping.

Ah, you say, but you’re writing this blog post.

Yes, but, you see, this Type A personality has an annual plan, from which deviation would cause consternation and sleepless nights. I planned two blog posts a month for the entire year, and, by cracky, I’ll write them, even in my month off from writing.

What WILL I Do Instead?

I have three books to go to complete my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge, and I need to get cracking on that.

I have two manuscripts from editing clients to at least give an initial read-through.

I have holiday shopping to do. To date, I’ve bought exactly three presents, and I have a long way to go. I’ll pick a day, make a list, plan my itinerary, and knock it out. Type A wins again!

But I’ve taken just a bit of self-imposed pressure off myself by taking a “vacation” from writing.