Monday, January 30, 2012


Is it just me, or does this time of year suck balls?

I mean it. After the rush of Christmas – I don’t care if you love it, hate it, or just tolerate it – everything seems to calm down back to normal…yet the weeks spanning January through, let’s say, March, are a plain bitch to navigate. Either you have a mountain of work remaining from all the stuff you avoided doing over the holidays or business has slowed to a crawl. I guess this could be tied back to school days; January typically means the end of the first semester and the start of the second, which is nice and all but just lets you know you’re only halfway there to summer break. For adults, it means tax time (which is stressful, regardless of whether or not you look forward to sending in your W-2s) and several months of waiting before it’s nice enough outside to do anything worth doing.

I suppose it’s a little of all the above for me. After NaNo 2011, I made the conscious decision to take off December. I had exhausted myself completing my inaugural NaNo project and wanted to spend the busiest family-oriented month focused on editing and catching up. Now the holidays are over (finito for eleven more months) and I’m already behind on 2012 goals because it took a million years for my muse to return to me. Apparently, “use it or lose it” applies even to short breaks. Short, planned, deserved breaks.

Keeping momentum going is important, even if you’re not bothering yourself with being overly productive. If you find you’re currently struggling to get the words on the page—either because you took a break or because this time of year sucks and no one should be asked to do anything—I say cut yourself some slack. I can’t think of anyone who genuinely likes January. Focus on small goals. A few words here or there. A book read. An article written. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s using “it” (whatever your particular “it” might be) almost always works to get you back in the groove, even if you have to fight to get there. And sooner or later, you’re right back where you were, wondering how you lost your footing to begin with.


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