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.
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday I sent off this year's books to the printers (unsolicited plug - Lulu.com is great for this) and it felt like a large weight was lifted of my shoulders. One thing of my list. Now I just have to wait to see if the other presents I ordered actually come in on time.
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.