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The business of writing: Festive frustrations

As Christmas draws closer, Simon Whaley chats to three writers about how they manage their writing businesses during the festive period.

In the world of paid employment December is one long month of office parties, Christmas lunches, and arguing with Health and Safety about the fire risk of the red tinsel framing your computer monitor. It’s an entirely different matter for writers. Working in our isolated garrets means the office party rarely gets out of hand, but if it does there’s no one else around to notice. However, as December draws closer, it isn’t easy running a writing business when the rest of the business world is either away from its desk enjoying itself or shut down until the middle of January. Which means we have to change the way we work.

In my experience, December is a month of two halves. Deadlines sometimes get brought forward to accommodate this, and getting hold of people by email or phone becomes more challenging, particularly between the beginning of the month and about the 18th. Then there’s the shutdown itself, when entire businesses close from around 19th December through to the 4th January.

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