The holidays felt like a blur. So many things to do and so little time, I enjoyed the time with my family and I did manage to carry out most of my personal traditions but many didn’t feel so important this year. I managed to get the tree up the Tuesday before Christmas and the presents wrapped the next night. Instead of setting out the Christmas Village, I left it packed away. I can remember years when I was wrapping presents Christmas Eve knowing they would be opened later that day. I hated those years. I used to decorate almost every room and put up two trees. I don’t try that hard anymore. A person could drive themselves crazy trying so hard to be perfect. I no longer seek perfection. I hung red ribbons on the outside lights, a big wreath at the top of the stairs and I set out my big Santa Clause next to the tree and called it good. I bought candy instead of making it. I shopped a little bit each week so that it wasn’t a mad dash to buy everything in one shot and though it was still hectic, it was doable.
I learned something important from the holidays this year that I intend to carry over to my writing. I don’t have to do everything. I only need to do what is important. My word count did not grow very much on my current wip. With the holidays, I did feel a little overwhelmed so instead of trying to meet my writing goals, I fit in what I could each day. Instead of actually writing, I continued to note story ideas, build my characters, and work on plot and structure. I know that I need to quit with the perfectionism, especially with the first draft or it will never happen. I can accept that the first draft won’t be perfect.
I also snagged a new critique partner. Someone who was right in front of me looking for someone to work with and I am so glad she approached me. Carrie belongs to my local RWA chapter. She is our 2012 Board President and she has written a non-fiction book about Winterset, Iowa. You know that place where Bridges of Madison County was set. We plan to start critiquing in February, so now I have to actually start writing. Having a partner who expects something from me will make me produce. I hope to be able to write at least one blog a week but forgive me if I skip once in a while and know that I am working on my novel. When I do post, I will try to write about where I am in the process as well as what I have been reading.
As far as reading, I finished ‘I Am Half Sick of Shadows’; the latest Alan Bradley novel. I love the little protagonist Flavia De Luce. She is an expert with poisons and chemicals and somehow always helps the local police solve murders. If you haven’t read this series you really should check it out.
I am currently reading – a paperback of Jennifer Crusie‘s ‘Maybe This TIme.’ and Claire Cook’s ‘Life’s a Beach‘ on my nook. I normally try to read only one book at a time but have found that while the nook is re-charging it’s nice to have a real book handy.
Happy reading and writing…