Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Even Santa takes a break from his WIP at Christmas


With the holidays upon us, I thought this would be a great time to invite some of my talented friends to guest post. Today Stephanie Pellegrin tells us a story about taking a break!


Even Santa takes a break from his WIP at Christmas

This is a story of a girl who thought she could do it all. With each day she ticked off on her little wall calendar the holidays were getting closer and closer. Though she didn’t feel very much in the holiday spirit, she pressed on. She was determined to do everything: buy presents, spend time with her family, and write. The stress of everything soon began to dampen the young girl’s spirit.

“No!” she sternly told herself one chilly winter afternoon, “The problem is that I’m not immersed in things enough. To rectify this I shall write a new story! I’ll even write it about Christmas to chase the “Bah Humbugs” away!”

And so she did. She wrote swiftly and quickly. She wrote in coffee shops and on her couch and in the dead of night when she couldn’t sleep.

She wrote as she baked cupcakes and as she trimmed the tree and she even wrote in the car once (though thankfully she wasn’t driving).

The girl wrote so much so quickly that she began to forget what she was even striving for in the first place. Was it because she was excited about the story she was telling? Well, yes. But you see, her heart wasn’t in it. She was writing for the sake of writing. Not because she loved her characters or her plot or even really anything about the story at all. She was simply writing to say, “Yes, I can do it all!” She fell out of love with her story.

In the span of 19 days, the girl finished a 60,000 word draft. And while she eventually did fall in love with her story again, it took her a long time. So long that even now, a year and multiple rewrites later, she’s still working on that same story. All because she rushed and tried to do everything even when she knew she couldn’t.

Don’t be this girl. Writing during the holidays can be tough, but not impossible. Do what you can when you can. Spend time with your family and your friends, but don’t forget to take a little down time for yourself, too. Go for a walk, bake some cookies, let your creative ideas stew.


Stephanie wrote her first novel in second grade about a boy heart who falls in love with a girl heart, only to learn her “heart” was already taken. She now writes young adult and middle grade fiction (none involving love triangles with talking hearts). She's involved in the Austin, Texas chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and is cofounder of Literary Lonestars, a Facebook group dedicated to Texas bloggers and authors. Stephanie is featured in the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband and is currently seeking representation.

To learn more about Stephanie visit: http://www.stephaniepellegrin.com and pick up Dear Teen Me from your favorite bookstore or online retailer.



7 comments:

  1. Good advice! 60,000 words in 19 days?? That makes me tired just thinking about it!

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    1. I have no idea how Stephanie does it! I think of a review and stare at a blank screen!

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  2. Oh my. The holidays are stressful enough with all happening. I agree! Should not be this girl. ;) Thank you!

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    1. I think we need a reminder every now and again! Thanks for visiting Mel!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for guest posting! Great advice!

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