This December is the first in four years that I haven’t been on a frantic deadline. For the past few years, December 31 has not been an enjoyable holiday or time to reflect on the past year. Rather, I’ve spent it finishing a manuscript draft (The Haunted Heart, 2021), copyedits (a non-Jane project, 2020; The Queen Has a Cold, 2019). This is usually after I spend November doing NaNoWriMo and frantically drafting all month. (The Holiday Detour, Queen, and Haunted Heart all started as NaNo projects.) This year was different.
This year, I took some time off. I didn’t participate in NaNo because I’d had a non-Jane project due October 31 and needed a break, and because my current work in progress isn’t yet under contract and doesn’t yet have a publication date, there was no frantic December 31 deadline this year. I’ve spent the last two weeks hanging out with people I love, putting together a murder mystery jigsaw puzzle, watching a lot of TV, and making my house look nice. It’s been lazy and glorious.
When you’re a writer, though, downtime can feel creatively stifling – much like a professional athlete might feel more depleted than rested after taking several weeks off training. I find myself itchy to open up Scrivener and get back into it.