Now that it’s December, I feel entitled to bang on about Christmas and put falling snow on my blog. The snow has been taken care of, as I’m sure you’ve spotted – thank you, WordPress, since I live in a country where we get snow very rarely (and the entire nation grinds comically to a halt when we do). If I had a userpic with my face in it – difficult when blogging under a pseudonym – there would be a little Santa hat on it. ‘Tis the season.
It’s also the busiest month of the year for most of us here in the Western Hemisphere. I’m particularly busy as I have a few close family birthdays in December, as well as Christmas madness, so I have to amp up the levels of shopping, partying, low-level socialising over coffee and feeling the love. It’s wonderful – I’m not going to complain about people I love being born, although I do wish some of my countryfolk would have sex at a time of year that isn’t March – but it is also incredibly time-consuming.
And this year, in between all of that pleasing busy-ness, I need to polish my planned release, Lights Out, format it and send it out into the world, trembling like a leaf about to fall to the snowy ground, in time for Christmas. Because after a big family dinner, who doesn’t want to get the fuck away from all the wholesome togetherness and read about some shagging?
How is this going to be possible? Here is what I have done so far:
- Shop online for gifts.
- Decide on gifts early, so you don’t need to spend time researching them.
- Make plans with people early (I must say, people with December birthdays are usually great about arranging their celebrations far in advance, because they know how valuable calendar real-estate is at this time of year. So props to the children of March-only sex-havers, you rock).
- Cut out everything that isn’t essential. Seeing loved ones – essential. Laundry – essential. My house being clean enough to entertain the Queen of England, if she drops by – not essential. Making homemade jam – I do not know why I ever thought this was a good plan, but it sure as hell ain’t essential. Paradoxically, some downtime for yourself where you do nothing – essential.
- Remember that, as well as the above, non-essential activities include reality TV, binge-watching Supernatural and finally reading Hannibal Rising just to hate it articulately. Tragic, but such is the price of a December release.
- Sort out the cover design and other third-party services for your release as early as possible. This always takes longer than you imagine. I use the super-professional and super-talented Design For Writers for my cover, but even so, I requested a last-minute tweak that wouldn’t have been possible if I haven’t left oodles and oodles of time.
I am really not kidding about evaluating what is and is not essential, and the following are essential, and anyone who says they’re not is to be viewed with suspicion:
Food that isn’t sausage rolls from your Christmas party buffet
Downtime – no one does good work with an overheated, frazzled, tired brain. I know this because I have a Masters’ degree.
Keeping your home in a state that does not make you cry actual tears – this is a standard that will vary wildly from person to person.
Am I the only person with an insane December? What are you guys up to? Any tips for squeezing time and not going nuts?