The countdown is on! We have exactly two weeks until Christmas arrives… whether you’re ready or not, the day will still show up on December 25th, and so will all your company demanding your attention.
Therefore, you will need to prioritize your precious time and outline some kind of schedule to make sure you still get some writing time in over the last week of December (before the 2017 year is over).
If you are one of those writers who hold down one or two other jobs to pay the bills between small pockets of writing time, maybe you will get some much needed time off over the holidays?
Free hours? Free days? Free time?
What are you going to do with all this free time?
I have a few suggestions for you:
- Sleep? Nah. You can do that when you’re dead.
- Eat? Yes. Indulge in all the Christmas cookies and Pumpkin Pie you want, but remember you will need to schedule a shopping trip come January, to buy bigger pants to accommodate your new girth.
- Exercise? Yes, take a walk at least once a day with family (this is also considered multi-tasking, because you are spending time with family members while walking and day dreaming about your current story… or your next story)
- Read? Yes. Always make time to relax with a good book. Then tell someone about it. Write a review.
- Shop? Yes, but only for books. Books are good. Books are great. Books are the ULTIMATE GIFT! Buy nothing but books. Authors will love you.
- Bake? Yes, if it is cookies, cake or pie. All very good for you, especially if you add sugar. AND gluten. And chocolate icing or Cool Whip.
- Reorganize your office library? Arrange all your books into specific categories and alphabetize each section by author’s last name. Have you already done that? Yeah, me too. Check this task off as already complete.
- Clean out your email inbox and sent box? Select all the emails at once and hit the DELETE key. Fast & furious. Don’t even look twice. You will be done this task in a matter of minutes, depending on how fast your computer can delete two million emails from Staples, M&M Meats, your mother and your whining sister.
- Shovel snow? Yes. It needs to be done. This can also be classified as exercise, especially if you want to opt out of going for a walk with the family. No one in a warm house wants to step outside into the freezing temperatures to help you shovel snow. So, you can take your time and avoid washing dishes and playing Pass The Pig by just pushing the white stuff back and forth until the extra family goes home, and then you can write in peace.
- Other activities? Dance? Handstands? Headstands? Cartwheels? Play the piano? The violin? The harmonica? Spoons? Anything at all, just to help you procrastinate from writing a new story? Yes.
Go ahead, but…
If perhaps you do manage to persist through all the fun tasks above and you actually find time to write a new story—without procrastinating—here is an awesome submission list to help you write something new. Something different. You can work toward one of these contests and finally submit that entry… because we all know that you can’t win, if you don’t submit. AND, if you don’t submit, you won’t get published. Do the work. You’ll thank me later.
Deadlines for Seizing Writing Opportunities Over the Next 80 days…
- December 15th ~ Barbara Kyle’s 4th Annual Manuscript Evaluation Contest.
- Submit 1500 words. Fee is free. There will be 3 winners: Grand Prize: evaluation of a full manuscript (up to 100,000 words): a $1,800 value; Second Prize: evaluation of the first 50 pages of a manuscript; and Third Prize: evaluation of the first 25 pages of a manuscript.
- January 15th ~ Prism International Short Fiction Contest
- Submit 6000 words or less; Fee is $35 CAN.
- January 15th ~ Brave New Girls Anthology (Sci-Fi/STEM)
- Submit 2500 – 10,000 words. Main character has to be a girl between the ages of 14-18. No fee. Revenues from sales of this anthology will be donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.
- January 15th ~ Geist Magazine Literary Postcard Story Contest
- Submit 250 – 500 words; Fee is $20 CAN. Fiction or Non-fiction.
- February 15th ~ Writer’s Union of Canada Short Prose Contest. Submit 2500 words or less. Fee is $29.00.
- February 28th ~ Canadian Author Association Blood is Thicker Anthology. Submit 3000 – 7500 words. Must use a specific first line. No fee. Fiction
- February 28th ~ CBC Creative Non-Fiction Contest. Submit 1200 – 1800 words. Fee is $25.00 CAN. Amazing prizes.
- February 28th ~ ID Press Nefariam: The Element of Crime. Submit 2000 – 5000 words. No fee. Fiction. Genre: Crime, but different.
Choose one. Choose three. Choose them all! Go for it. Make me proud. 🙂
Happy holidays to you… and good luck with your writing submissions in the New Year. Don’t forget to tell me all about your acceptances, so I can read them. I love to read and you should too. Buy books. Make authors love you. I will love you too. Spread the love… with books!