Wait , you say – I thought RU was on hiatus. Well, it is. But when one of our regular guests – Natalie J. Damschroder, to be precise – goes to the trouble of writing one more post for us, who are we to refuse? In short, we can’t. (See more on this below.)
Time is a constant. We impose a logical structure on it because it makes life easier. And then we put greater importance on specific elements of that time, like the end of the year. In reality, just because the calendar flips, that doesn’t mean anything really changes. One day follows the next with the same demand and rewards. But it still feels significant. It’s a marker, even if it’s mostly mental. And we all approach it differently.
Charging to the Finish Line
Those of us who set annual goals see December 31 as the end of our opportunity to make this year one of achievement. Some people are good at planning the big picture. Some go crazy when December hits and we realize how few days we suddenly have left. The holidays can make it hard, but stubborn determination makes it easier. Quality might become secondary to progress, but the satisfaction and even euphoria of hitting the mark is so worth it.
Taking a Breath
For some, hitting December and approaching the new year is a signal to take it easy. Non-writing stuff ramps up, whether we’re talking about family and holiday obligations or work-related, end-of-year obligations. That’s enough stress to take on. You don’t need deadlines and problematic storylines complicating your life. It’s time to rest and recharge, something that’s always important.
Time for Reflection
No matter how we approach our writing at the end of the year, many of us also reflect on the months past and consider what we have ahead of us. How many books were written and published? What kind of marketing did we do, and what were the results? If you participated in a lot of events, did they serve your goals? Once we get through that, then we turn to the coming year to set new goals and make decisions for moving our careers forward.
New Year Invigoration
At some point after that turn of the calendar, we overcome the fatigue and drain of charging to the end or concentrating on work and family, and we consider all the new stories and opportunities to come. And hopefully, we move into January or February invigorated and excited. Maybe even renewed!
So what kind of end-of-year writer are you?
I want to thank Romance University, and particularly Becke Martin Davis, both for allowing me to participate in this pre-hiatus final month* and in everything they’ve provided to writers over the years. Thank you, too, to all the contributors! I’ve always learned so much here, and appreciate every post.
*Thanks, Natalie. We’re kind of winging it with the hiatus right now. We want to give our long-time guest posters (aka Visiting Professors) an opportunity to get in the last word, so to speak. If any of you have posted with us before and have something to say, contact Carrie, Jennifer or me and we’ll work something out. – Becke
Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2015 saw the publication of her 19th novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she’s not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she works as a freelance editor and proofreader. She and her husband have two daughters she’s dubbed “the anti-teenagers,” one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.) You can learn more about her and her books at www.nataliedamschroder.com.