Hope your holiday was grand! We had a great time with the in-laws and my parents. It was, without doubt, the least stressful Thanksgiving week I’ve spent in recent memory. I wasn’t worried about turkey and gravy and all the trimmings. Oh, I was fixing them, but I wasn’t worried. If it all turned out terrible (and it didn’t), we’d have piled into the car and gone to a restaurant.

I’ve learned over the past year that you sometimes just have to let go of all the expectations and pressure. That doesn’t mean I’m great at it, or that I always take my own advice, but this time, for once, I did. And everything turned out fabulously.

It’s really easy as a writer to get wound up over things you can’t control. Selling your book, getting an agent, discovering the secret to success. And once you’ve sold a book and have a career going, it’s easy to obsess about things like sales, list placement, and whether or not you think your next idea is any good. You can drive yourself crazy if you let those thoughts swirl around unchecked.

So let go. Focus on what you can control, which is nothing more than the writing. Focus on the writing and the story and let the rest take care of itself. I know the holidays can be crazy, and I know the demands on your time will be heavier than ever. But take time for yourself somewhere in there. Take time to just be still and quiet, to know that you’re doing everything you can and that you’ll get there so long as you don’t quit.

I had a great Thanksgiving, and I hope you did too. One other thing I got done this weekend — with the help of my husband and in-laws — was decorating the Christmas tree. There are some years where I’m running so late, due to deadlines and other commitments, that I don’t even get the tree up. And other years where I get it done at the last minute. But not this time. This time it’s done, and I’m feeling accomplished. I’m sure there will be things in the next few weeks that make me feel less accomplished, but for now I’m going to enjoy it.

Let go. Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t. Breathe. January will be here before you know it. 😉