Well, I participate every year, but this year's NaBloPoMo has been immensely successful, I think! I haven't struggled for content, I had a schedule and nothing went up late, I had good fun putting it all together, and I even had a pretty snazzy giveaway! Even my Christmas sock exchange went well! And a quick note to the participants: if you're still waiting for your package, remember that your partner may well be overseas and it could take up to 3 weeks for packages to arrive in the Christmas rush!
NaBloPoMo is now over, so it's very likely that the blog will quieten down on the run-up to Christmas, but I do still have content planned. I didn't get as many crafts up last month as I had wanted - only three, in fact! Christmas tree s'mores, a birch tree advent calendar and upcycled bauble villagers. But I have a few already put together and prepared for posting, and I'm working on a few others, so there will be some Christmassy crafts going up over the course of the next few weeks.
While participating in NaBloPoMo, my Etsy shop has been abuzz with work for Christmas. I've had an easier time of it this year than usual, presumably because I've been clever about supplies and packaging, and because I had a lot of new and pre-made products from my gallery exhibit that I could post out within a day's notice - that certainly lessened the workload, as well as supplied so unusual gifts to some lucky and likely confused recipients!
But not only that, I've managed to get a lot of work done on my next book.
My shop has come first, my blog coming second, and, unfortunately, my writing has had to be pushed onto the back-burner. I had anticipated this, however, as it's the case every year, and I managed to get all of my work on my previous book done - revised and polished - by the end of September, which meant that I had nothing immensely pressing over the past two months. In fact, my intention at that point became to work on the plan for my next book, build the world, the history and the characters with the hopes that I'd be ready to start writing it January 1st. Well, as of December 1st, I can say that I've developed a very broad history, deep characters and an exciting and twisting plot! It's all coming together, and I'm hoping that, by the end of the year, I'll have enough of a plan together that I can start writing on January 1st!
I've not had the chance to really play Fallout 4 yet, and that's always a problem when games are released at this time of the year: I'm too busy with my shop to play them. But I do get to watch them, at least, so Seeg has been keeping the both of us entertained by playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate and then Fallout 4 while I've been working next to him. It was the same last year with Dragon Age Inquisition, but the issue back then was that I was so woefully under-prepared for the Christmas rush that I hadn't the time to pay much attention to the game as he played it. I kid you not: the moment I finished packaging the last order for that Christmas, I sat down next to Seeg to watch Dragon Age even before tidying up properly, and what happened? The credits started rolling. Unbelievable.
So last year I was feeling stressed because I was unprepared and because I had a book I wanted to continue writing. This year I've been very ready, and though I'm itching to start writing the new book, I also know as a fact that I'm not quite ready yet anyway. I need time to get stuck in and start writing, but planning can be done in 30-minute snippets or on the odd evening I have free. Or on Fridays, which I long ago decided would be "my day" because it's an 'easy' workout (meaning a workout of my choice, unless the workout I'm doing that month is supposed to be done every day like this month's), a guaranteed delicious dinner that I don't have to make as well as the only dessert I have in the week (makes it taste so much better, too), it's a day off of being a carer unless my mum needs an extra pair of eyes on her, I can sleep in, and I know as a fact that I have the time to work on my shop all day Saturday and Sunday much more intensely and I won't be going to the post office again until Monday. In short, on Friday I do what I want, and I don't feel guilty about it. And that means working on my book.
So, roll on December. I have a workout that is outside my comfort zone, it's the last few shopping weeks before Christmas, I'm nearing the end of working on my book plan before beginning the book itself, my '25 Photos Until Christmas' even starts, and, of course, it's Christmas at the end of the month which means the added bonus of decorations, food and music that turns me into a 10 year old. And though I used to suffer post-Christmas blues, after getting together with Seeg 5 years ago, that has almost stopped. With Seeg's birthday on December 28th, our shared birthday dinner and cinema trip on January 4th, by the time my birthday gets here on January 9th, I'm tired and quite happy to see the back of all the celebrations.