Wednesday, December 2, 2020

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Writing Time (#IWSG December 2020)

Mother of god, is this year still going on?

I wrote a lot for the optional December question, so I'm just going to go with that.

December IWSG Question:
Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Heck, yeah. November and December are usually my busiest writing months. Why? Because I nearly always write a book/story to give as a present to some of my friends/family.

This is one of my favourites. It's Book 3 in a 5-book series, though, so it doesn't make a lot of sense by itself.

I started this tradition back in 2004 when I wrote a book for my wife as a Christmas gift. I wrote something like 60,000 words in 17 days. I was not used to being crouched over my computer so long (I'm a champ at it now) and I ended up needing to get physio on my shoulder in the New Year. I kept it up, with either novels or stories nearly every Christmas since. In 16 years I've written I believe 8 novels, 12 short stories and 3 children's books (the children's books are the biggest pain because they're illustrated). This does not include any other homemade projects I make as gifts (I'm also known for board games and repaints of Christmas village houses as whorehouses), or any other writing I'm doing at the time. So on top of regular life, work and holiday responsibilities, Christmas is usually a crazy stressful time for me.

Sometimes I need a reminder to wear pants, too.

The best part, and the reason I don't know if I can call this writing "productive," is that NONE of those books or stories have been released publicly. A couple of them I've re-worked with the intention of hopefully sharing/selling, but so far only my closest family members and a handful of friends have actually read them. It is very much a labour of love for a very small audience. Most of my relatives have no idea how much work goes into them. My kids don't get it all, which is hilarious. I think they assume everyone's fathers write books. In Grade 1, my son brought one of my kids books to class for show & tell. His teacher loved it and asked if she could get a copy, but my son said he only had one so I would have to write her another one. 

It was the bath water book, by the way.

Yesterday I sent off this year's books to the printers (unsolicited plug - is great for this) and it felt like a large weight was lifted of my shoulders. One thing off my list. Now I just have to wait to see if the other presents I ordered actually come in on time. 

This was last year's book, for my kids and nieces. It was the second-most-time-consuming book I've ever written. Only surpassed by this year's book.  

So anyway, that's my rant(?) about what I do at Christmas time. How about you? When do you write a lot? Or what fun(?) stuff do you do for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/(Insert Holiday of Choice)?
Happy Holidays to all! 
Hugs & Kisses,

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Natalie Aguirre said...

That's so funny that your kids think all dads write them books. They'll cherish them when they are adults. I think it's a great tradition to write books for presents like you do.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi CD - sounds like you have supportive kids - and perhaps it's time to get the books published - even if it's just for the local community - - - for now! Take care, enjoy and stay safe - Hilary

J Lenni Dorner said...

Those are some fun looking books!
Keep up the wonderful writing (with or without optional pants -- ha ha, love it).
Happy holidays.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is really cool you have written books just for your family for years. Maybe you should look to go farther with some of them.
Repaints of Christmas village houses as whorehouses - only you!

Patsy said...

It has seemed a long year!

Usually the Christmas period is when I read more than usual. This year I've been reading a lot the whole time ... so, I may as well carry on with that until 2021, don't you think?

Chrys Fey said...

The first line of your post made me laugh.

I've written stories as gifts before. Once, I wrote a children's picture book for my nephews when they were little. Then I was working on a continuing story for my mom as a Christmas gift for a few years in a row. I enjoyed doing that. :)

Caitlin Coppola said...

That is so COOL that you write books for your friends and family for the holidays. I absolutely love that! And to think, they have one-of-a-kind masterpieces by you! Priceless :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

That is amazing. They'll understand better when they're older how unique those gifts/talents are.

Loni Townsend said...

That's great! I love that you do that and that your family loves it.

Carrie Ann said...

I love this! I may have to try doing this for my family and friends.

Sylvia Ney said...

That's amazing - I love that you write for gifts. That must be great motivation. I hope you are able to enjoy the holidays, and some writing time. Merry Christmas!

Anne Higa said...

What a wonderful practice to do every year! Your family is lucky indeed.

Anne from

A Hundred Quills said...

Wow...I would say wow for this whole practice. I'm impressed. It's such a wonderful idea.
Sonia from

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I think that you give great presents! That's really cool--and hope that at least some of your family appreciates it!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of publishing a book for Christmas gifts! That is my new motivation for next year! And should my daughter ever grace me with a grandchild, I'm definitely doing this for him/her.

Donna Hanton said...

Your opening line made me laugh. When I read that you repainted Christmas village houses as whorehouses I laughed even harder! I have a friend who will get a kick out of that, so I hope you don't mind if I share. But I love the idea of writing for your family and friends at Christmas--such a unique and meaningful gift idea.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I need to see a picture of the repainted houses, haha. That idea makes me think of the one in Beetlejuice. Those books you've written for family will be something they can keep and pass down forever.

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