Holiday Deadlines—How to Keep up with Them
The November writer can find themselves overwhelmed in this incredibly busy and fun-filled month, but we still need to meet our deadlines!
Over the holidays so much is going on. Bustling cooks are scurrying about in the kitchen in preparation for Thanksgiving. Recipes are positioned for easy viewing, and some are made ahead of schedule to freeze until needed. The table is often set a week or so ahead of time to give the host extra time. The scent of cinnamon and spice are wafting through the house better than any candle or potpourri. Mouths are watering in anticipation, and smiles follow.
Close your eyes and imagine a whole month of tantalizing sights and smells. Holiday movies put us in a delightful mood. And—
Hold on! Deadlines don’t take a holiday. Neither can a writer eliminate them from the calendar. A keystroke will delete the entry, but that does nothing for our professional image.
Oops! My critique group meeting?
What about blog posts?
The savvy November writer should shut the door on stress before it arrives. That’s one guest no one needs.
Think about deadlines with planning, purpose, and organization. Writers must be prepared because stress can be an enemy. It’s not the writing deadlines or the topic that stresses us but how we think about the deadline. View the work as simply an item to check off our list and think about it weeks in advance. Due dates keep us disciplined and on task.
The savvy November writer should create a list of things to be thankful for.
Christian writers should thank God for blessings, challenges, and opportunities to put us in the right frame of mind.
Below are items we might include on a thankful list. I encourage you to add those things that are meaningful to you. We can be thankful for:
1. The gift of writing and the Creator who designed communication through the written word.
2. The work involved in developing our craft. While the process is a labor-intensive journey, we treasure the dance of words.
3. The sage advice from critique groups and partners to help us make our work stronger.
4. The rejections from agents and editors. This is how we grow professionally and mentally—often called developing a thick skin.
5. The rewrites. Each time we edit and tweak our work, we move closer to reaching our publishing goals.
6. The readers. We write for a specific audience, and their enjoyment helps pave the way for success.
7. The social media platforms that show us how to reach our readers/audience. How else could we form around-the-world relationships and help enhance lives with what we know?
8. The friends and family who love and support us no matter where we are in our careers.
9. The blogs that focus on teaching us about the publishing industry, marketing, promotion, and branding.
10. The professionals who make us look good in every area of our writing.
The savvy November writer should support others.
The word support contains various meanings to writers. November is a time to enjoy blessings and each other, but it can be a tough month for writers. The busy season of Christmas will soon be here too. Show support throughout the year by helping, praying, teaching, comforting, showing strength, advocating, encouraging, and validating other writers.
The savvy November writer should take time off.
I’ve been guilty of this, and I imagine you have fallen for the “I can’t say no” to those who often unintentionally weigh us down with extra tasks. Dear writers, we need downtime to relax and rejuvenate. We can’t be all things to all people. It’s been said there are many wonderful projects in this world and many people to help, but that doesn’t mean we have to say yes to all of them.
The savvy November writer should beware of the turkey-writer.
How can we avoid the label of a turkey-writer and not fall prey to an editor’s ax?
1. Turkeys have been around for a long time. A turkey-writer refuses to change with the times and learn new techniques necessary to be successful.
2. Don’t be a wild turkey-writer. These beautifully colored birds eat constantly. Most of their day is spent scratching around looking for seeds and bugs. Don’t be a procrastinator. Get the writing done.
3. A turkey’s eyes are located on opposite sides of its head. While this allows the bird to see two objects at once and have wide vision, the turkey-writer writes plot lines that lack focus.
4. A turkey doesn’t have ears. Instead, it has holes behind its eyes. While they have impeccable hearing, a turkey-writer hears everything and becomes overwhelemed.
5. A turkey doesn’t have a keen sense of smell or taste. They can only taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty, or acidic. Turkey-writers fail to use all the senses so the reader can experience the story.
6. Turkeys are an excellent source of protein and taste good, but what about a full meal? A turkey-writer repeats the same characterization and story lines from one book to the next.
7. Turkeys are very sensitive in areas around their beak and feet. Do I need to say more? A turkey-writer can’t take criticism and interprets suggestions as being stepped on.
8. Turkeys eat during most of the day. Turkey-writers refuse to keep their bodies and minds at peak performance.
9. Although only the male turkeys gobble, complaining about the industry is a common problem among all turkey-writers. These people make excuses for their non-published work or poor sales.
10.The “turkey trot” was created by observing the short jerky steps of a turkey. Don’t be a
turkey-writer and merely trot through your writing career. Have a plan and a purpose for your
My guess is you are a model November writer. We love each other and the God who gave us this amazing gift of creativity. What else comes to mind so you can excel as a Savvy November Writer?
About the Author
DiAnn Mills is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. She is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. DiAnn continues her passion for helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn’s next release is Concrete Evidence https://diannmills.com/books/concrete-evidence/
Connect with DiAnn on her various social media platforms here: www.diannmills.com