I have always hated January; that post Christmas anti-climax when the next thing you have to look forward to is birdsong and daffodils. The grass is frost-tipped each morning, or it rains, then there's the wind that cuts to the bone, short grey days and long evenings, all of which I see as perfect conditions to line up my research books, computer and endless of supply of coffee and settle down to write.
But it doesn't make sense - I am at my most productive when warm and toasty inside with a manuscript that needs work. The reality is I spend the first hour on catching up with my critique group, answering e-mails and monitoring my Twitter feed, make my third cup of coffee of the morning and open my manuscript - keen to get to work.
What happens? I spend the next few hours tweaking dialogue, deleting scenes and putting them back again. I re-write my scene summaries to fit the new structure that occurred to me sometime at 2.00am the night before, then introduce something random that requires re-jigging of the story line as I decide the original story isn't dramatic enough.
Plot, plan, schedule - but not write.
After deleting the same rejigged sentence a few times, I go back to social media and mess about hoping something will come to me - it doesn't. A day or so of this unproductive twiddling I can take - even a week can be regarded as a natural marinating period for new ideas to mature - but a whole month?
I shall have to write it off as a failure - not the manuscript, the month. Maybe I shouldn't even try and write until February - but then I'll spend January worrying.
I'll try again tomorrow.