#IWSG: Holiday Marathons and December Writing Goals

It’s that time of the month again…

That’s right, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! For those who don’t know, IWSG day is a time when we writers gather together on the first Wednesday of the month to share our goals, our insecurities, our successes, and our fears and offer a word of encouragement to others who may be struggling.

Participants have the option to answer the question of the month or be inspired to post anything related to writing insecurities and triumphs.

This month’s question is brought to you by the lovely co-hosts Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine.

December 7 question: It’s holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

The holidays is a time when I try my best to relax because I overwork myself enough during the year.

Until recently, December has never been that big of a writing month for me. But over the years, of all the wonderful hallmarks of the holidays—the music, the lights, the decorations, the food, the presents, the Christmas bonuses 😉 — I’ve grown to love the holiday stories most of all…

A Christmas Carol and its many film adaptations, the Grinch, the oversaturated Christmas romance genre about the overworked executive finding love in a small-town country guy and discovering the true meaning of Christmas in a charming Christmas town, where the people spend an inordinate amount of time smiling and laughing and being merry and bright.

(A somewhat embarrassing dream of mine is to be a Hallmark Christmas movie writer, although I often joke about how terribly predictable these movies are).

So that is how 31 Days of Holiday Hooligans came to be, the series on my blog where I try to post a holiday-themed story every day during the month of the December. It’s my way of spreading the holiday cheer and exercising my holiday movie writing skills so that I’m prepared for that faithful day when Hallmark finally calls…

Or Lifetime. I’m not picky.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Another holiday tradition that eventually inspired a series on my blog after years and years of watching it on TV is the Twilight Zone New Year’s marathon. I love The Twilight Zone. It’s one of my favorite series of all time. And it truly can withstand the test of time, as it’s had three series revivals, most recently in 2020 with Jordan Peele at the helm.

The Twilight Zone covers a variety of genres, from science fiction to the macabre, ghost stories to speculative fiction, the surreal to good old-fashioned horror, and then there’s the not always so subtle social and political commentary.

But the most iconic characteristic of every Twilight Zone episode is the signature twist—realizing a character’s been dead this entire time, the monster revealed to be a six-year-old child, a former lover calling from beyond the grave, work stress manifesting as a phantom airplane with nothing and nobody on it…

So to realize another dream of mine, to be a Twilight Zone writer, last year I hosted an all-day blogging event that I called Lost in the Twilight Zone Marathon. From midnight December 31 to midnight January 1, I posted a new Twilight Zone-like story every hour, while watching the annual Twilight Zone marathon on Syfy, of course!

(You can read all of the 2021-2022 stories starting here.)

It was so much fun but so exhausting, even though I did schedule most of the posts a few days in advance.

(You didn’t actually think I was up at 3AM trying to write a story, did you?)

Whether I’ll do it again this coming New Year’s remains “to be determined.” I’m much further behind in my planning than I was at this time last year, which means I might actually be writing through the night rather than scheduling ahead… Or I can take the more logical route, like a normal person, and reduce the schedule to a noon to midnight marathon instead and give myself a break.

Stop making things harder for yourself, I have to remind myself.

Apart from my holiday marathons, this December feels even busier because I actually am trying to catch up on writing goals this time. As I shared in a previous post, I haven’t felt like I’ve made much progress in achieving any of my writing and publishing aspirations. The novel still isn’t written, I have more WIPs than I can count, and I’m the world’s worst procrastinator when it comes to editing the works that I have finished.

But I want to stop saying, “Tomorrow, I’ll do it,” or “Next week,” “Next month,” “Next year, for sure.” Because at this rate, it’ll never happen. So I decided I would make an effort to accomplish one of my long-term goals before the end of the year, and that is to edit and publish a story I’ve been promising for years now: my former Countdown to 31 Days of Holiday Hooligans series, a holiday serial following six friends in the days leading up to a Christmas wedding.

Yep, I’m sticking with the holiday theme!

Now titled Waiting on the Day, Christmas Day, it’s currently available on Kindle Vella, a relatively new platform on Amazon that allows authors to publish stories in episodes, which means I can publish new chapters as I edit them—1000 to 3000 words at a time rather than 40,000 words at a time—and I can keep my inner procrastinator at bay.

If you want to follow along, I’m publishing a new episode every day until Christmas, and you can read the first three episodes for free, which I love because by episode three (or chapter three) I pretty much know whether I’m going finish a series or not, so it’s a great test to see how good the story really is and if it can hook in readers.

One last goal I have for December is to finish editing my short story I wrote in September, a Southern Gothic tale about three teens who search for ghosts on a haunted highway. I don’t know where I’ll find the time to do it all. I might have to push this one back to January, which is fine, because like most people during this time of year, I’m in a mad dash to get as much done on my list as I possibly can. This list just happens to be a list of writing goals.

logo: cartoon of girl with glass and her hair tied in a bun reading a book


Do you have any writing goals for December? How close are you to achieving them?


2 thoughts on “#IWSG: Holiday Marathons and December Writing Goals

Let me know I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.