Writing for Holidays and Special Occasions
He: Today is the Fourth of July, we celebrate our independence. I wonder if the British have a fourth of July?
She: You really don’t understand how calendars work, do you?
Writing for holidays (the silly joke above notwithstanding) is trickier than you think.
What? Really? Hey, it’s Christmas. Write a Christmas story, right? Hallowe’en is next week, do something scary.
Back in my WEbook days I started a YA novel called “Next Hallowe’en”. I saw it as being just the think for October publishing. Man, was my head in the clouds.
Actually, the issue isn’t the writing, it’s the timing. If you want to write a story for the US Fourth of July, you should start writing it around the first of August. Get it planned, get it written, get it edited, and get it out, and if you’re lucky, your story will see print in time the Fourth comes ’round again. Frankly, even that may be a bit of a stretch. For relatively unknown writers it can take more than a year to get a story vetted and on the books of a magazine or other publisher.
For a professional writer, a calendar, a scheduler of some time, is your friend.
On that note: I’ve been looking for a good “Nagging” scheduler, and I think I’ve found a keeper.
You may have heard me singing the praises of Simon Haynes—author of the “Space Jock” science fiction novels, and creator of the free yWriter system (an excellent cradle for writing novels and Sonar, also free, a small program/data base for tracking your magazine and novel submissions). He’s done it again with yTimer, an excellent “nagging” scheduler to help you keep to your timetable. yTimer is also free. This guy is a treasure trove of good tools.
Oh, please note. Mr. Haynes often upgrades his software, and in doing so you don’t always get to the latest version of a package. Consider going to his handing page at: http://spacejock.com to be sure you are seeing up to date stuff.