Posted by: Kerry Gans | December 29, 2011

Writing During the Holiday Madness

I don’t know about you, but from Thanksgiving on my life has been a runaway train going downhill. I haven’t stopped for over a month. I feel like I haven’t breathed in about as long. An exhausting combination of travel, family obligations, illnesses, classes, and the requirements of survival have drained me. My gas tank is well below “E.” And yet, I’m still going.

So did my writing fare in this whirlwind? Did I even manage to get a single word written? I am pleased to say that yes, I did.

I did more than just eke out words, too—I was quite productive. I attribute this productivity to the fact that I am in between books. I finished a draft of one middle grade book and got it out to beta readers before the insanity began (which I had planned). The rest of this month was taken up with back-and-forth between my co-authors and me on the major revision to The Egyptian Enigma.

Mostly this consisted of new suggested timelines/outlines. Jim Kempner and I started with two separate outlines and the subsequent discussions (via email) slowly merged them into one outline that we felt contained the best of both. It helped that we were not that far apart on most major issues.

I would say that coming to an agreement on a completely new outline for our revision (and all the writing of those outlines to get there) is pretty productive.

Today we met face-to-face to hash out the details of things we had not been able to resolve online. We ended the 3-hour meeting with a finalized new outline—one that will cut some 30,000 words from the book, streamline the plot, and sharpen the focus.

Now we just have to implement it. We’re thinking of trying something new in our process. We’ll see how that works out. Working with three of us is an ongoing experiment to find the most efficient way to get from start to finish.

How did your holiday writing go? Or did you simply decide to take the holidays off?

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Responses

  1. It was refreshing to read your post. After the holiday running, I slept 9 hours each night for three nights – I moved like a zombie at the day job. As it is, my energy runs pretty low during the winter months.
    However, I did send of a novel to an editor, and worked on the short story collection. I found that writing came harder during this time, but I did get some things done.
    It helps to have deadlines – I seem to be more productive when someone lights a fire under me.
    Popple

    Like

    • Sleep sounds wonderful, but with a toddler that doesn’t happen often!

      Glad you got some writing done. It’s always satisfying to get things accomplished!

      Kerry

      Like


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