Hi! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly blog. Usually, I write in this space about the craft of writing. But today, I want to take a bit of time out to ask: Are you ready for the flurry of the holiday season? Or, more to the point, are you looking ahead to the next couple of months to make sure that writing commitments can be fulfilled in a quality way while the social and spiritual whirl of November and December move all about?
I find this time of year one of the most inspirational, but also one of the most difficult to keep working away steadily and with full attention. Yes, the music and festivities of these months are wonderfully moving. But they happen at just the time when I literally must not move for chunks of time…move, that is, from the chair in front of my workspace…Deadlines don't seem to disappear merely because we're celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.
So, each year at about this time, I try to look ahead. I scan my calendar for key dates, then work back and assess just how much time I need leading up to those benchmarks to comfortably complete my writing work while making progress on Christmas cards, menus plans, and all the other activities for this season. I do this with my "optional" works, too, those pieces not under deadline but no less important creatively.
Writing too quickly, or too distractedly, can erode style and depth of any piece, fiction or non-fiction. Being mindful of the unusually busy next couple of months also ensures that the quality of the work will be preserved.
One other thought on the subject: Heaping holidays on top of pressing deadlines can lead to the exclamation, "How will I ever do it all?!?" If you need encouragement in that regard, you might find some inspiration in a recent radio interview I gave on Relevant Radio. There's a link to it on the homepage of my website – www.maureenpratt.com
Next month, I'll get back to talking about the "how" of writing. But I hope that this departure from the usual will help with planning for the rest of the year. And I hope that, with better time management, you'll have oodles of hours to enjoy all the beautiful things that this very special time of year brings!