Winter Re-cap, or Battling the Blahs

I have two posts-to-be-written in my blogging queue right now, and instead I’m starting a new post from scratch. If that isn’t an analogy of my year to date, I don’t know what is.

Although we haven’t had much of a winter in the Midwest, my brain has still been behaving in the same way it does when there’s six inches of snow on the ground and temperatures haven’t crawled above forty in weeks. I’ve been lethargic, unfocused, and mostly unproductive. I haven’t made much progress on any of my various writing projects, because I’ve spent more of my energy trying to motivate myself to create than actually creating.

The only thing that’s kept me from freaking out or berating myself over my lack of forward momentum is reminding myself that I struggled with the exact same issues last year. Now that we’ve started Daylight Savings Time, I’m hopeful that an additional hour of light every evening might shake me out of my slump.

In the meantime, though, here’s a short list of things that I have been working on this winter:

1. Wedding planning.

I am super excited about being engaged, you guys, and even more excited to get married. What I’m not excited about is having to wrestle with all the logistical nightmares that arise when you’re trying to throw what’s essentially a giant party for your closest family and friends. My fiancee and I have our guest list made, our photographer selected, numerous offers of help from our loved ones, and a whole bunch of ideas that may not survive the planning process. What we don’t have is a date or a venue.

We did visit a couple of venues last weekend while we were visiting my parents, and we’re certain that one of those two will be suitable for our wedding and reception. Just don’t ask us to decide which one (yet).

2. Summer vacation planning.

Speaking of weddings, my fiancee and I are also in the process of planning a huge trip abroad this August for the purposes of attending his cousin’s wedding. We’ve got our plane tickets purchased, and our pre-flight arrangements made. What we don’t have is a rough itinerary, hotel/hostel reservations, or visas, which the current political climate mandates that we need. Which brings me to . . .

3. Being a general pain in the collective ass of our current administration.

One thing I am proud of myself for more or less staying on top of is regularly contacting my senators and representative. (Seriously, they’ve got to be sick of hearing my voice on their answering machines by now.) I’ve also been signing a bunch of petitions, writing letters, and attending a few protests/rallies as my schedule allows. I do have to take plenty of breaks from social media and the news, but I’ve been pretty relentless in my activism otherwise.

4. Not panicking over the work that I haven’t yet managed to accomplish as far as writing/revising goes.

It’s hard for me not to get frustrated with myself for not having finished my revisions, or not having written anything new. Taming my high expectations for myself and my creative output will always be a struggle for me, and I know that. However, I’ve done a much better job this year at separating my own worth as a writer from the work that I’ve done (or haven’t managed to do) on a day-to-day basis.

That said, I’m still chipping away at the first draft of my YA romance WIP, and I’m hopeful that Camp NaNoWriMo will give me the push I need to increase my word counts next month. We shall see . . .

How have you spent your winter so far? What are you hoping to accomplish in the upcoming months?