December. You either hate it or you love it. The holiday season started just before Halloween, and it's still going strong. All around us people are baking and putting up decorations, and the radio is blasting out Christmas tunes. Smells of peppermint, pumpkin, and gingerbread abound. Friends and families are planning gatherings for the holidays. Menorah are being lit. It's a festive time.
It's also a hectic month, and one writers are often the least productive during. So much to do, so many gatherings, so much shopping, greeting cards, school parties. It's utter insanity, so who has the time to write?
Try to eke out just a little bit of time each night, even if it's just a few minutes per night to keep your storyline fresh in your mind. Jot down some notes or brainstorm while you're waiting in line to purchase those gifts. At yet another party? Cocktail napkins make great paper for poetry and plot lines.
But if you choose to take a break this month, go for it. And make sure you give yourself full permission so you don't have to feel guilty about it.
December is also often a month of giving. Did you know that you can opt to donate a portion of your Amazon purchases to Pikes Peak Writers, among other charities? Amazon is offering their Amazon Smile program now. It doesn't cost you anything above the price of your purchase, but a percentage of that purchase will go to the charity of your choice. And, yes, Pikes Peak Writers is in there! To sign up for the Smile program, simply go to www.smile.amazon.com. It takes about two minutes to sign up, and then they'll do the rest of the work for you. This change will apply to your charity from then on, without you having to do anything else. It's a nice way to give to the charities you want to support while doing your holiday shopping.
Lastly, there's been a change to the PPWC 2014 lineup. Gillian Flynn had to cancel as keynote, but we will instead have Hank Phillipi Ryan, mystery author and on-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. She joins Jim C. Hines, Chuck Wendig, and Gail Carriger in this year's awesome PPWC lineup!
Here's hoping you lots of wonderful family time, as well as a productive writing month!
Managing Editor, Writing From the Peak
PPW NCE Director