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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Productivity and Doing What it Takes - IWSG December 2020


It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. To find links to other IWSG contributors, click here.  Thank you to December co-hosts: Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre

This month’s optional question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Since I hold myself to a regular writing schedule, it’s difficult to assess periods of productivity. I get up on weekdays and write. Sometimes weekends, too. That said, there are less productive times—vacations when I allow myself to sleep late. I spent last week with my daughter out of state. Yes, I know travel was discouraged. But please understand. Thanksgiving was THE holiday for our family of three. Every year upwards of 30 Salernos arrived at our house to four tables extending through two rooms. COVID made sure no one was coming this year, but the biggest hole was caused by a missing one.

I honestly don’t know how my daughter and I would have survived that particular day apart. So, since she had to work, I went. This post—drafted while tightly masked, sitting in the lobby of the hotel where she’s employed while waiting for a ride to the airport, was the first thing I’d written in days.

It’s easy to get distracted during the holidays, which makes me glad for things that hold me accountable—monthly IWSG posts and my writing group every second Thursday. And now, a kind of pandemic bonus: extra free time due to a state-mandated quarantine. Upon my return home, I was required to hunker down for fourteen days or until the COVID-19 test I took Friday came back negative. In planning for that, I took extra time off from work. Fortuitously, I got the all clear the day after I returned, leaving me some unplanned time. So, what to do? Well, for one, regularly scheduled writing will occur after the sun comes up. In addition, I may decorate (or at least make a plan to decorate) for the holidays, which, since my sweet husband was Mr. Christmas, I expect to cause angst. Still, while I can promise I won’t be climbing on the roof to mount a wreath on the chimney, there will be some kind of light display. He would accept nothing less.

In spite of all this year has wrought, I’m trying my darned hardest to remain a glass-half-full kind of gal. Getting some lights up will be a victory. If I get a little teary in the process, it will be a good excuse to sit down at my desk, open up my laptop and attempt to write the sadness out.  

With any luck, that will lead to another burst of productivity.


I know so  many of us are missing loved ones. Please accept my wishes to you all for comfort, joy and optimism as we move forward into a new year. 


Mr. Christmas's last hurrah.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like you took precautions and spent the holiday with your daughter. Do decorate a little inside. It will make you feel better. And reach out to us here when you need to.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi Liza,

I'm so glad you went to your daughter's for a visit during the Thanksgiving Holiday. That not only helped your daughter but it helped you too. I know what you mean about this Christmas being different. I am in the same boat. I haven't put up any lights yet, but I will, even if it is lightning the electric candle that he loved so well. We do some of the same things. In my sadness, I write. I let a tear fall and I don't ignore the pain.
Take care of yourself and enjoy your Christmas as much as you can, and have a safe passage over into 2021.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liza - glad you're safe ... and by being very sensible were able to get across to your daughter for a bit of family time. It's just plain difficult - but better to miss out once this year ... we're doing the same. I write as and when ... stay safe and enjoy Mr Christmas!! All the best - Hilary

Joanne said...

you put a lot of thought into your holiday, writing, this whole Christmas season, and I'm glad you could be with your daughter. I'm sure she needed you too. Put out some of your husband's favorite things and while tears shine, a smile will too. And bake something he loved. I always bake some of my mom's faves. It's tough but you'll make "new traditions that mix the old" and write through them too. My thoughts are with you and I'm rooting for you too. Take care.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm glad you got to see your daughter. Hope you get some good writing done and enjoy the holidays as much as you can - Mr Christmas will be smiling down!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I am sure your light display will be lovely and a real tribute to Mr. Christmas. Please take care of yourself this holiday season.

Chrys Fey said...

Things that hold us accountable really do work. That's why NaNo is such a big hit.

I'm glad you got to see your daughter. Take care!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You are following your heart and your instincts and that is what you should do. Routines and purpose also get us through the day. Enjoy the lights that you put up and find peace in all that you have accomplished. Your husband would be so proud of you.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I totally get how it would have been too hard to be all alone for the holiday this year after losing your husband. To be honest, it'd be hard any year. I admire you for trying to put up your decorations. Those first years after my husband died, I only put them up because my daughter was still with me and excited about the holidays. Now I'm ready to put them up for me, though I only put up a small number of them that hold special meaning for me.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Decorating definitely helps! I'm not doing the whole shebang this year, but I am finding a certain love of lights inside the house - a few extra around a nativity scene, a few more candles on the table. Light in the darkness, it's what's getting me through this year.
I hope you have a warm Christmas filled with peace.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm sorry you will celebrate without your husband but I hope there is other family. Despite the risk, visiting your daughter was a good decision.

Stephen Tremp said...

Yes continue to decorate do the inside too. Get a little wild and give back to your self you deserve it!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

It's always best to look at the positives :)
Wishing you a wonderful and safe Christmas.

Fundy Blue said...

I can't imagine what you are experiencing, Liza. I'm glad that you were able to visit your daughter safely for Thanksgiving. I hope your decorating brings you heart-filling memories of happy times with Mr. Christmas!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I hope 2021 is a better year!

I don't know if the social distancing has loosened up more free time for me other than having to go places though it has encouraged the introvert in me to grow stronger!

Gwen Gardner said...

Aww, Mr. Christmas sounds lovely. Virtual hugs to you. Hang in there.