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On Reflection ...

Confessions of an Editor at Christmas

Personal tales from yours truly, on my writing journey, editing, and occasional outpourings from my brain. You have been warned!

It's been a year. Yeah, ANOTHER one.

For me, Christmas is the season of sweaty indoor school fayres, going at the garden with my secateurs - bringing what should be outside, inside, and the annual viewing of Die Hard.

But it's also a time of transition, where we naturally look forwards to the hope of the new year, and back, to the ups and downs of the one about to pass.

It can be giddying

For me, 2021 was a tricky year. Covid aside, I made strides forward, taking on more tutoring, and starting my own business (this one), both of which have been an absolute pleasure and have brought me closer to some lovely writers and their brilliant brains.

But it also saw me take a stumbling step backwards with my own writing. The whole of the publishing industry has been hit for six by the pandemic, with this being felt across the board, from booksellers, to publicists, to schools, to authors. It's been tough.

With writing, it's so often three steps forward, two steps back. As we look to the future, with all our ambition for what comes next, it can be easy to overlook the progress made and that the next steps are there, even if they are not obvious, or they feel like a path already trodden.

So if you do one writing-related thing this holiday season, make it something to celebrate your achievements, however sluggish you may perceive them to be. IMO making headway of any kind is something of a miracle these days

What Christmas means to me (all these things and more)

For me, the holidays are a time to step away from the laptop. It's a siren to me - for work, for writing, for socialising, and it sings its tantalising song day and night. But once my out of office goes on (on the 19th Dec this year) it will be banished under my TBR pile (or some of it, at least - I don't want the thing crushed).

My brain needs new batteries, and that will come from cheesy Christmas movies, mulled wine, mince pies, and watching my kids tearing open their presents on Christmas morning.

It'll also come from reading and watching - books and TV invigorate my creative spark. I can tell when I'm in a writing slump cause I go into a reading slump too. It's like my brain can't cope with anything abstract.

Two weeks might seem like the perfect time to start writing that Shiny New Thing that's lurking in a notebook under the bed, but for me, it's staying put for a while longer.

As my focus shifts to important decisions (red or white? Stilton or brie?) my subconscious can merrily fill plot holes, find a character's agency, and come up with a way to keep the pacing tight in that tricky middle. And when January comes, I'll be ready for it.*

*Next month, can someone remind me I said this?

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a wordy new year.

If you'd like to be part of that new year spark, click 'Hello' below and sign up for a free first-page edit, or take a look at my complete services.

Happy writing!


From EmDashED Freelance Novel Editing


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