How to Handle the Holidays as a Writer
For me, writing is something which should be done daily, no matter how little that amounts to. For instance, I have good days where it is a breeze to push past four thousand words, and then there are days where a thousand words – still nothing to be sniffed at – will suffice. If, like me, the thought of taking time off from writing for even a day, let alone an entire Holiday period, causes palpitations, you’re going to want to power through the festive period whilst attempting to maintain a stable relationship with your loved ones (they are pretty important, after all, and those socks you will almost certainly receive on Christmas morning will be worth at least a few hours of your time when the big day arrives). So, without further ado, I present to you a few tips on how to keep yourself productive this year without being an asshole about it:
Start work early. You will feel better for it. By the time the rest of the family are swigging coffee or, in some cases, Red Stripe, you will have already achieved your target word count for the day, and now you get to spend the rest of the day eating mince pies, nasty advent calendar chocolate, and if you’re lucky, someone will pull a cracker or two with you.
Don’t push yourself. Yes, we would all like nothing more than to churn out a novella over the festive period, but why impose such explicit and non-essential rules upon oneself? 500 words a day adds up to a pretty substantial short story into the New Year, and it’s hardly a stretch. You’ll be curled up on the sofa watching The Polar Express within the hour, and if it takes two or three sittings, then so be it. Awful festive television is 24/7. You’re not really missing anything.
Spend time with your family and try to put work to the back of your mind. As Amos Williams once sang, “Christmas (Comes but Once a Year)”, and he’s got a damn good point. Do you really want to be working while your children are playing with their new toys? Do you really want to miss out on all that good stuff? Eggnog and wine – not at the same time, you heathens! – and parties and ugly Christmas sweaters? Ice-skating and mistletoe – definitely not at the same time – and gingerbread houses and, forgive me for getting all sappy, but…that feeling you get at Christmas…like you’re a child again? Do you REALLY want to miss that feeling? Get your work done, and then celebrate the fact you managed to write anything at all, what with the dog running around, bouncing into furniture because he can’t see a thing through the reindeer hat the kids have pulled down over his eyes.
If you’re between projects, take a hard-earned break. Use this time to make notes or to outline a project you’re going to begin in January, when you can give it you undivided attention, and not when someone keeps thrusting a large glass of Baileys under your nose.
If you are working on something which has a deadline, well, that’s unfortunate. What kind of sick bastard imposes deadlines at such a wonderful time of the year? Regardless, you will need to schedule yourself and your work as best as possible. Again, try not to stress, as this will most definitely lead to a divorce. If you’ve scheduled correctly, you should still have a spouse at the sound of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
Finally, have fun! That’s the reason why we write, isn’t it? If you’re not having fun writing over the holiday period, pull on that ugly Christmas sweater, grab a small sherry, whack on your Wham! CD, and take a short break until you’re damn ready to start enjoying it again.
Happy Book Birthday to Soul of Dust and
Soul of Dust
By Adam Millard
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: December 7, 2015
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Keywords: Urban Fantasy, Sleuth, Paranormal, Investigator, Wizard, Demons, magic, Gritty
Sometimes being semi-immortal just isn’t enough.
Jack Bridge is having a very bad day.
Life as a private investigator is tough, but it’s even worse when you’re a semi-immortal wizard private investigator whose tolerance for humans grows thinner by the day. Just when he thinks things can’t get worse, in she walks.
Kate West, beautiful and complex in equal measure, with a problem only Jack can solve. Daemons, magic, voodoo, and vamps; it’s all very real, and Jack Bridge is the last line of defense against the creatures of Elsewhere.
About Adam Millard:
Adam Millard is the author of twenty novels, ten novellas, and more than a hundred short stories, which can be found in various collections and anthologies. Probably best known for his post-apocalyptic fiction, Adam also writes fantasy/horror for children. He created the character Peter Crombie, Teenage Zombie just so he had something decent to read to his son at bedtime. Adam also writes Bizarro fiction for several publishers, who enjoy his tales of flesh-eating clown-beetles and rabies-infected derrieres so much that they keep printing them. His “Dead” series has recently been the filling in a Stephen King/Bram Stoker sandwich on Amazon’s bestsellers chart. Adam writes and edits for UK horror website This Is Horror, whose columnists include BC Furtney, Simon Bestwick and Simon Marshall-Jones.
Adam lives with his beautiful wife, Zoe-Ray, and their wonderful son, Phoenix Justice. There are also chickens, rabbits and cats, but the less said about that the better.
Follow Adam on Twitter @adammillard
A paperback copy of Soul of Dust and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.