I love this time of year.
From a traditional, spiritual standpoint, we’re reaching the end of the anticipation of Advent and we are entering the hope of Christmas.
From a seasonal, naturist point of view, we have reached the “darkest night of the year” and from this point on, the days, which have grown depressingly short, will lengthen and more sunlight will be with us.
From a personal perspective, I’ve had the privilege of spending the last two weeks with my aging grandfather. He’s visiting until after the first of the year, and while he’s in good health, I know that these times together are rare and will some day be gone.
I’m also in an “in-between” phase of the writing life. After weeks of intense work on two graduation-related projects (and, simultaneously, finishing another fabulous semester of critiques and responses) I find myself in a “lull period” where I’m not starting anything new (at least, I’m not PLANNING to…but sometimes, things pop up when least expected) and I’m wrapping up loose ends on several projects.
Mostly, though, my “writing-related” work right now comes in two forms: reading and planning.
I’m finishing up a couple of books I’ve been reading (two nonfiction, two fiction) and mapping out my reading strategy for next year. I have two shelves of books, ready to go, and a few more on the way. Since I’ll be an MFA graduate, I won’t have a prescribed reading list for the first time in over two years. (Though, to be honest, I do have a few books in the queue that are recommended readings from fiction faculty members…so those were easy enough to add to the list.) I’m devising a balanced reading list that will help me continue the writing development I’ve begun. Because I’m on my own, again, I can open the reading list up to areas of interest I’ve not been able to pursue, and ideally, keep those creative floodgates open.
As for planning, I’m so blessed to have a lot of writing time at my disposal. I’m determined to not waste it. I’ve been planning out my days (using the same methods I’ve described earlier, see the notes below) and setting some goals.
I love sitting down and envisioning the “ideal” writing life (at least, ideal for me) and working out a schedule that will allow me the time, energy, and inspiration to move forward with my work. It’s an exciting time, and a time of professional anticipation.
Tying up loose ends and laying the groundwork for the next phase of life. I’m looking forward to the changes that are on the horizon.
Merry Christmas to my family and friends who celebrate the Christian season, and to those of you from other faith traditions or who celebrate in other ways, may you have a blessed, bright, and beautiful holiday season and a happy New Year.
Other posts about my planning and goal setting process: