There’s a certain energy to this time of year, isn’t there? For people who celebrate Christmas and absolutely love it, putting their tree up and listening to Christmas carols by mid-November, it probably feels amazing. But for some of us, this time, leading into the final month of the year, can feel like a bit much.
There’s holiday prep and holiday parties and holiday dinners to get ready for. We’re trying to wrap things up at work, wrap presents, and deal with excited kids who will soon be off school. Add to that the days feeling shorter as the light continues to fade, which only contributes to a harried, frantic feeling. Can you relate to this?
I also personally find the intense consumerism of this time of year hard to take and at odds with the challenges our planet is facing, but that’s a blog post for another time!
My experience has always been that I trudge my way through December, putting off all of my creative ideas until the frantic energy peaks and empties out in a rush in January. And that’s when I do my best work. After the chaos has passed.
But at the end of 2021, something different happened. I had already set early January as “go time” to begin work on my 40-day book, but as the Fall wore on, I started to feel antsy. I wanted to start sooner. So, last year around this time, ignoring the cultural messages about December being a “crazy busy” month, I began my work. I blocked time in my calendar every day to turn my mind to the book I would be writing, I got organized, I made notes. It felt like starting a fire that would end up giving off a steady heat by the time January rolled around.
So many of us have bought into the idea of December being a total write-off in terms of time for ourselves. But I want you to know that creating that bit of spaciousness for myself at the end of last year made a big difference!
What I learned is that I didn’t have to suffer through the crazed-feeling days of December without giving myself a bit of respite, a bit of light. And I found that the intensity was a lot easier to deal with when I actually allowed myself to do something creative and enlivening, rather than waiting until the calendar turned to a new year. The bonus was that in giving myself permission to start working on the book earlier, I got a real head start and had some momentum going into January.
So if you’re planning on starting a new creative project in 2023 or you have a wish or a resolution for the new year, here’s my suggestion: start now. Even if it’s only 15 or 30 minutes a day, turning your mind and your heart to a project that you’re excited or passionate about can give you a sense of purpose and promise and meaning.
I hope this helps!
Allison Lawlor of SaltWire here in Nova Scotia wrote a lovely review of Writing Your Way. Read it here!
Consider giving the gift of a 40-day journey to someone you love this holiday season! Writing Your Way is available around the world on Amazon, Chapters Indigo, and Barnes & Noble. You can also support your local independent bookseller by asking them to carry it.
And it helps SO MUCH if you leave a review on any platform or simply click the five stars. Thank you for your support as I continue to push Writing Your Way out into the world!