This morning, as I was surveying my bare Christmas tree that’s not yet decorated much less connected to electricity, I realized that this is the first holiday in three years free of book-deadline pressure. I can make fudge and hang baubles on my tree with no Sword of Damocles hanging over me.
Several years ago–after struggling to work on a book during a Christmas visit to my grandparents’ home, unable to convince my disappointed grandmother why I had to shut myself away to write–I swore that I would never again agree to a December/January deadline.
But book contracts are what they are. Writers can’t always negotiate an optimum delivery date. The YA trilogy that I’ve just wrapped up with the concluding novel, MAGE FIRE, due to be published in June 2013, just so happened to have February deadlines. Which meant working across the Christmas break. And although I’ve had a little wriggle room for family time and celebrations, it’s also meant coping with that inner sense of guilt for every hour spent playing instead of writing.
Not this year! The sense of freedom is exhilarating. The sense of a work well done, an accomplishment achieved, is a good feeling to have.
Of course, the itch to get started on a new novel is already in place, but I don’t have to feel guilty about it yet. I have no worries about meeting a daily page quota or whether I have enough time to smooth a problematic scene one more time.
All of that will be back with me soon enough. Say, about January 3rd. Time enough, meanwhile, to have fun.
P.S. For any of you who might be interested … Amazon is currently running a special promotion on my C. Aubrey Hall books. CRYSTAL BONES and THE CALL OF EIRIAN are hugely discounted in the hardcover, and e-versions are free to Amazon Prime members. Also, the concluding volume–MAGE FIRE–is now available for pre-order.
I don’t know how long the promotion will last, but I thought I’d spread the word. Should there be any 12-year-olds on your shopping list ….