I have been an author for quite some time now. But the autumn of the year (September through November for me here in Florida) and winter (December through February) are hard for me to find new creativity as a writer. I can sometimes finish something I already started, but starting something new, like an actual holiday story, often goes unfinished beyond a few hundred words of an idea.
I used to think it was because I’m just lower energy during these months, since I’m definitely more active during the summer months. I even thought maybe I suffered from SAD. I hardly ever manage to complete Nano. I didn’t reach 50k this year either, I got to just over 33k, by switching from fiction to finishing my non-fiction guide to self-editing. News about that will be posted to my business blog, LZ Edits.
When I was regularly writing fanfic, I would often start a holiday short story hoping to have it finished in time to share for the holiday, but invariably, I finished it late. Or not at all. Only a few made it out to readers, and these were usually truncated to be posted in time. I have this whole folder full of unfinished ideas, and a lot of them are holiday-based.
That’s certainly not a good idea if I want to publish something of more significant length, like a Hallmark-esque holiday rom-com centered around Christmas, or even Hanukah. Also, wouldn’t people publish St. Patrick’s Day themed stories in March, right? What about Independence Day (July in the US)? For a Christmas or Hanukah release, I’d have to probably start in January to get anything written, edited, formatted, and published by mid-November (apparently even Christmas stories are getting released earlier and earlier). For Valentine’s Day, probably starting to write a story in September the year before would be best. And of course, let’s expand this idea beyond holidays, like the sports seasons. Obviously the best time to release a sports-centered romance would be at least during that sport’s season, right?
When I was writing for magazines, back when it was strictly print, the calls for submissions were usually sent out for articles to to put in themed issues 6-9 months in advance. Back-to-School articles were usually written and submitted in February for publication in September. I managed two “holiday” submissions during those days, over almost six years of working in the industry. I tended to write the “evergreen” articles, the ones that could show up in any issue, timeless topics, or I’d pen the breaking news.
I’m just not a person who gets into the spirit of a holiday outside of the holiday season itself, when the decorations go up in stores, or the cards go out in the Hallmark display at the drugstore. If I get into it at all. I don’t even really go into “all the trimmings” during the holidays, so advice to “decorate your space with holiday items to inspire you” doesn’t work. An idea either hits, or it’s a swing and a miss.
Anyone else feel that way? I can’t be the only one. Hit comment and tell me about your holiday seasonal writing woes, or maybe share good planning habits that could maybe end my perennial creative impasse.