Monday, December 24, 2018

Doomsday and Chill

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
Hey everybody!  I hope your holiday seasons are going well.

Publishing, goes into a bit of a hibernation cycle during December.  Like everybody else, this is the time of year when people take vacation time, but it's particularly pronounced in the publishing industry.  I think it's probably a symptom of being an industry centered in New York City, not known for gentle winter weather, and December not being a particularly noteworthy time to put books out, as opposed to, say, the movie industry.  The books you want people to buy for the holidays need to be out and generating buzz by Autumn, and then the next big worry is the books people are going to buy before they head to the beach in the summer.

I can't say how much this is anecdotal or not, but in recent years I think NaNoWriMo has contributed to the shutdown.  Now, someone like you who reads this blog probably knows that you can't submit a manuscript to an agent or publisher until it's been edited to near perfection.  But for the folks who don't take the time to learn the industry, many of them see November as the time to produce a manuscript and December as the time to shop it.  You'll notice a lot of agents at this time of year even close to submissions.  As I said, it may be anecdotal, but I've heard that this is in large part due to NaNo.

So, for a variety of reasons, old and new, geographical and traditional, publishing shuts down in the month of December.  And in recent years I've been doing the same thing.  Year after year, NaNo and all the accompanying pressures burn me out.  So I hate to do it, but usually I end up taking the month of December off, too.  So far this year all I've done this month is:

- help Kimberly with a back jacket copy
- talked to my agent for an end-of-year check-in
- edited a few typos in SKINWRAPPER

And that's it.  I haven't done any traditional writing work in three, going on four, weeks. 

The only difference is, I'm letting myself be okay with it this year.  After the November I had, and, frankly, the ten months before that, I need some time to decompress.  So I guess the moral of this is, if you're like me, let yourself relax now and then.  Admittedly, there's probably a happy middle ground between grind away eleven months, relax one, but I'm sure you'll find it.

In the meantime, enjoy spending time with your families and celebrating the holidays.  I just picked up a copy of my good friend Mike Lombardo's "I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday" yesterday, and if you're looking for some seasonal horror fare, you definitely need to grab this as well.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

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