The Monthly Goalpost for December: The Short Deadline or “Don’t Give Up on December”

December already? That’s what everyone is saying. They say it every year. I do too.

A lot of us are finishing up writing and illustration challenges that kept us busy and inspired in November. And exhausted! December, the end of the year, is always busy with lots of planning and preparing. Kids will be on school vacation. There are holiday parties to attend, gifts to purchase, geese to cook. Many of us are in the throes of a holiday or looking forward to one, including New Year’s.

champagneYou know—it’s that time when we assess our accomplishments and either sit back staring contently into a roaring fire, sipping champagne (or something) or sit back thinking that we need to extent those 2013 goals into 2014. Looking ahead. But I say, STOP (cue record player needle scratching on vinyl).

Instead of writing off December as a month where it’s hard to get to get anything done because you have so much to do, how about setting some short deadlines?

I tend to work well under pressure (don’t ask me when I wrote this blog post that I had a month to write) and even thrive with short deadlines. Since this is a game to fool ourselves into doing more than we thought we could do, please keep it reasonable. Give yourself a short deadline like:
“I have to send out 2 queries before the end of the year.”
“That outline for my great PB/MG/YA novel idea must be written by December 31st.”
“I have to finish the thumbnail drawings for my picture book story before 2014.”
“I must design and order my self-promotional postcards before the year’s end.”

It’s easy to write this month off. There are plenty of excuses (I know, I’ve used them all!) but resist temptation: write this month ON—write your outline, do your revisions, draw, sketch, refine, submit…
Do it before the clock strikes midnight on
December 31st then celebrate away!

What have you got planned for December? Comment here or if you’re part of the private Sub It Club Facebook group, tells us how you’re doing over there. If you’d like to join our Facebook group, send a request. And have a great month!

About Dana Carey

Dana Carey - Author/illustrator Assistant Regional Advisor SCBWI France
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15 Responses to The Monthly Goalpost for December: The Short Deadline or “Don’t Give Up on December”

  1. Querying. BLEH! But it has to be! Dream agent has NOT come calling, so I gotta do it! 🙂 I’m working on a two picture book drafts that I want to have COMPLETELY finished by December 31 and started last pass through MG novel.

  2. Thanks so much for the pep talk, Alayne! Yesterday, I submitted a new story to Rate Your Story…and plan to submit it to an editor who says she is looking for just such a book. 🙂 And by the 15th, I’ll have submitted another story…much revised, to the 12×12 agent. And entering Susanna Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest by the 9th. And then participating with both of my critique groups during the middle of the month. I’ve promised myself that I will keep busy and focused with picture book writing STUFF.:)

  3. Thanks, Dana for the kick in the pants! I will design and order a postcard this month.

  4. Sylvia Liu says:

    Nice post, Dana. I do have those short deadlines but also have those also short deadlines (must buy x gifts for y people; must clean the house for a 9-girl sleepover party; must plan our holiday trip), so it gets hectic. But I am trying to write or paint every day.

    • Gifts! I need to get on that. I am so glad Dana talked about short deadlines this month. Makes me feel like I can actually achieve fitting in some writing stuff along with the holidays. I will do my best to write a little every day along with you Sylvia!

  5. 🙂
    December is a super-busy writing month for me this year. I’m working on edits for TWELVE STEPS, mentoring in Pitch Wars and drafting a new, shiny Work in Progress ❤

    My "short goal" for this month is to make sure I divide my time wisely between my different projects, so nothing falls through the cracks.

  6. Pingback: The Monthly Goalpost for December: Recycling is good for you! | Sub It Club

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