Warning: this is a no-edit zone…
Yesterday I received no less than four messages from writers who are having a hard time getting going on a new project right now. And in each of them, the author was despairing that it was a sign of hard times to come. To those authors, and others like them who didn’t email me, I say this:
It’s a sign of the season, the added things that must be done, the extra above and beyond social engagements, kids’ activities, etc. This is the season of more. More to do, more going on. And you’re impacted whether or not you celebrate Christmas because those with whom you interact are in more season, too.
So cut yourself a little slack, don’t despair, and don’t see the difficulty in getting going on a new project as anything more than this is not a time that is conducive to focus and concentration.
Many writers don’t schedule deadlines this time of year, or writing at all. They use this time to recoup the previous year and to plan ahead for the next year. They clean out their offices, their closets, and do things that tend to stack up and be ignored when you’re in create-mode. Some ignore the office completely and totally envelop themselves in the celebrations of the season, doing all of the things that can only be done then, and things writers don’t want to stop writing to do at other times.
Splintered focus is a challenge for everyone, writer or not, during the season. Recognize and accept it, and relax. Consider it a time for refilling the creative well. That’s important work!
Mostly, just be gentle with yourself. Added stress and tension runs hand in hand with holidays. The cure for it is in simple things: laughter, patience, acceptance.