Monday, December 12, 2011

Stuff Those Envelopes!

My fellow writers, readers, and Alley Cats, will be the first to preview the Dicken Christmas card!
I was so thankful the weather was nice on Thanksgiving day, because that was when I planned to take shots of the kids in our new yard. We were blessed with a fabulous fall this year!
As I sat and organized my addresses, requested more via email, deleted some, figured out who was getting a 5x7 of the kids along with their card...etc. I couldn't help but feel frustrated and overwhelmed with my poor attempt at being organized.

I am not Type A (period)

The frustration was released magically when I started stuffing the envelopes. I just crammed the cards in them even though I had a pile of unfinished addresses since I was waiting to hear from those friends and family members. I began to add to my pile of ready-to-stamp envelopes, and the “unedited” ones were less intimidating.

Isn't this how writing is? Whether you're trying to get those words out for that first draft (I am sure many NaNoWriMo participants are wincing at that was a long month, huh?), or struggling through edits...Doesn't it sometimes feel great to just stop the struggle, and tie up loose ends elsewhere?

  • If you are working on completing a draft and are stuck, just get away from that scene or chapter, and start writing a scene that is stuck in your head, desperate to get out. Who knows, you might just discover a brilliant turn of events for your character that will fix that sagging scene you were working on.

  • If you are trying to get through edits, and are feeling discouraged...step away. Take a break. Enter a contest. Work on another idea for a bit. Find something to COMPLETE (maybe a good read?) and feel rejuvenated.

  • And if you are trying to cram 100 Christmas cards in the mail by Christmas, and just don't have it together...cram, then a few the next. This might drive some of you crazy...I am thinking Plotsters more than Pantsters? But get SOMETHING accomplished, you'll feel so much better. ;)

I hope you have a very MERRY Christmas, and remember, all the stuff is just that, STUFF. Most importantly, there is a little baby in the manger who wants to be your best friend...nothing else compares to that!
 Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across cultures. She is an ACFW member and CEO of a family of six.


Keli Gwyn said...

Cute card. Cute kids. =)

Casey said...

I love that card, Ang. Libby looks so much like you!!

So very true, I can completely connect with what you are saying here. It's how I think too. ;)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Loved this, Angie. The pics are great too. We have always sent out our Christmas cards, most years they are out (all 160) by December 10th or so. This year, it just hasn't happened. My DH and I decided to send out a New Years (or around there) newsletter. :)

As for the idea of leaving something to complete something more "do-able," I like that. I've been struggling with a scene in my first draft. I think I'll get the bones of it down on the page and come back to it later. Thanks for giving permission to leave something undone for a time to complete something else. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Angie, this was the perfect post for me today. Not so much the get something done part but the it's ok that you didn't get it all done right now part. So stressed today. Your post was the right break for me from work today. :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oh, I love the card. So cute! I needed this post today, to remind me to do things step by step and not get overwhelmed. Every small thing I'm doing is making progress so as long as I can keep going like that, at least I won't feel like I haven't been productive. Thanks!

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks Ladies for the compliments on the card/kids...Can't take much credit for the kids though, they are blessings!
I am glad this encouraged you, Mary and Cindy. It is the only way I can find hope in a future of writing...taking it one step at a time, not getting hung up on the obstacles!

Embrace said...

The photos are beautiful. Thanks for the reminders to take it all in stride. Why we try to cram all we do into one month is beyond me?
One year I was so late with my Christmas cards I posted new pictures on the front and sent them as Easter ones instead. :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Oh, I love this Christmas card! Libby's dress is adorable! Oh man, I know what you mean about the frustration about getting organized (feeling that just today!). Good advice on breaking things up a bit. It seems like when I most need to do that is when I forget this good advice!

Naomi Rawlings said...

Angie, your kids are totally adorable! And thanks for the encouragement and advice about stepping away. I stepped away from writing yesterday. I'm oh so close to the end of my ms, and I just sensed I needed the break.

Hope you got another 10 or so Christmas cards out today. :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I love the card and your advice, Angie! I think it was Rachelle Gardner who said to map out how much time you plan to spend on writing during the holidays, then cut it in half. That made so much sense because time just seems to slip away this month, doesn't it?

Pepper said...

Good reminder, Angie.
It sounds like a lot of people needed to hear it :-) Me too!

"Stuff is just stuff"
The most important organizational task we need is prioritization! :-)

Pepper said...

Oh - and your card looks ADORABLE! You are such a great photographer