It's August, and my preschooler is suddenly concerned with all things Christmas. She's checking out books about Santa at the library and requesting a nightly viewing of "Frosty the Snowman." This prompted me to bemoan the fact that we struggle every year to send out Christmas cards. My husband's reply: "We should do them in the summer when we have more time." After we both had a good laugh, I said, "Why don't we?"
So, we've just written our "update letter" and ordered photo cards with the idea that they will be mailed to friends and family over the coming week. My thought is this: our greetings have little to do with Christmas and everything to do with an annual touch-base. If it's annual, who cares when it occurs, as long as it's once a year?
It's in this spirit of "doing something different" that I've also embarked on new goals for my writing. My progression with novel one has been pretty stagnant (send out queries, get a nibble, wait for reply, get vague or no reply, repeat, repeat, repeat...). I'm looking for other ways to get my work out into the public. I'm revisiting my story collection, written in the years immediately following grad school, and looking at small presses who might be interested in it. I'm looking back through the files of individual stories that have yet to find a home, stories that received very positive comments by people in high places. These things should not be gathering dust on my hard drive.
It's time to spread myself around a bit, to look at all the writing I have to offer, which includes some non-fiction as well. It's time to avail myself of all the opportunities in the forms of writing contests. It's tempting, with my limited writing hours, to just keep plugging away at the same old thing because it requires little thought, but finding myself no farther along than I was six months ago is simply depressing, and that decreases my desire to write anything new.
With a new year comes new goals. Our household is very much geared toward an academic schedule, with a professor for a husband and one child in school. We set a new schedule once late August rolls around. It's a great time for fresh starts. It's a great time for me to reorganize my writing life and goals.