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Do You Get End-of-the-Year Blues?

Hourglas of Expectations vs Reality

December is the season to relax and recuperate in many countries. Festivity is in the air, and television channels begin to broadcast Christmas movies. In the northern hemisphere there’s snow, or at least chilly winds, but in tropical Singapore where I live the weather is no different than the rest of the year.

Some years I’ve taken an entire month off, but writing at a professional level demands that I stay connected throughout. So even if I do go on a hiatus it can’t be a long one. Looking back on this year I realize I’ve worked on editing three novels, and written one. A few years ago that would have staggered me, but it feels par for the course now.
My professional life has been kind this year but I can’t say the same of my personal one. I don’t discuss this as much on this blog or on social media, but continued work during times of personal challenge has led to a bit of a burnout.
Looking back over the years, I recall being similarly wrung out during Decembers past. The new year is less than two weeks away, but somehow time seems to expand during this period. All I’ve wanted to do during Decembers is not get out of bed.
Having just handed over a manuscript to my agent, I feel like I need to just sleep for a while but unless I sell another manuscript that’s a pipe dream. So while I plan to take it easy during the holidays, withdraw from social media, and sleep more than usual, a blue fog remains. No vacations this year–even though I’m traveling, my work comes with me.
I’m brainstorming a novel at the moment and editing another one, so I can’t really take time off screen, and while the time spent with the novels is very welcome, I don’t feel up to doing anything else at all besides. 
I’m determined to cook more from now on, spend time with friends, finish so many of the pending chores, but while the spirit is willing, the body wants to curl up and say no more. I know I’ll need at least a week away in nature, just trees, maybe a body of water, some birdsong, but am not sure when to take it. Maybe Christmas to New year? We’ll see.
In the meanwhile tell me about your December, what you been up to so far and your plans for the rest of the month, or year. 
Are you going on a vacation? Do you have plans this December for extended time with family and friends? What books do you plan to read and what places do you plan to visit? Or do you, like me, crave rest and respite?

My literary crime novels, The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon are on Kindle Unlimited now. Add to Goodreads or snag a copy to make my day ! And if you’d like to read a book outside the series, you can check out You Beneath Your Skin.  Find all info about my books on my Amazon page or Linktree.

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, and it is quite snowy here right now. I know I’d really miss the changing seasons if the weather was consistent like where you live. All the best, Lynne

  • I usually get the end-of-year blues, so now I’m used to them. I up my exercise, especially anything that takes me outside. I’m sticking around the homestead for a while. I’m kind of traveled out!

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!.. I am going to do what you may do, stop the world, get off for a time, relax while enjoying life and rebooting… 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday and a even better new year and until we meet again…
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    And may all the wishes you wish come true
    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

    • DamyantiB says:

      Thank you for being here and taking the time to comment! We all need a break sometimes, especially when the world is constantly bombarding us with new information and our obligations bring us stress. Wishing you all the best for the new year, and looking forward to hearing from you next time!

  • dgkaye says:

    Dear Damyanti, you have been going full speed for some time now. I can’t even fathom editing three books in same year. Please take and enjoy your time out before severe burnout strikes. Been there, done that. 🙂 Merry Christmas my friend. Hugs <3

    • DamyantiB says:

      A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Debby! Thank you for your kindness. Burnout is the worst! Still trying to work my way through it, but finding time to rest has really helped. Hugs, back <3

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    You really need some REST and TLC, Damyanti. My god, you edited three novels and wrote one! You definitely need to take a break, at least from SM, if not your work.
    For me, December looks like all the other months except with a festive spirit that makes me a bit lazy. But I like the cool air that Mumbai isn’t used to. I wish I could go out someplace, but I can’t imagine leaving my babies alone, or with someone. They haven’t bonded with anyone else and would get anxious.
    Do take that break, D. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
    Much love <3

    • DamyantiB says:

      I couldn’t agree more — a nice, long holiday would be very welcome! I’m just working on taking some time for myself and spending a few moments each day thinking about something other than writing. The end-of-year holiday spirit really does merit some laziness. I hope you’ll be able to pamper yourself and get some rest and relaxation! Happy New Year <3

  • Debbie D. says:

    I hope you get the chance to relax, rest, and recoup your energy, Damyanti! I tend to get the winter blues in January and February – mostly due to lack of sunlight and very cold weather. December is not that cold yet and we enjoy all the fabulous light displays and festivities of the season. Happy Holidays and all the best for the new year!

    • DamyantiB says:

      Thank you, Debbie! Your December celebrations sound so fun! I’m sorry to hear about your winter blues — hoping they ease up this time around. Wishing you a wonderful New Year and belated Merry Christmas!

  • We miss the even climate of Singapore as the further you move north or south you have extremes of hot and cold in season. This is our hot season and it is very hot but of course nothing like the heat of India just before the monsoons. We miss the way Singapore celebrates everyone’s festive seasons with wonderful light displays everywhere. Enjoy your break time and have a happy and fullfilling year 2024.

    • DamyantiB says:

      Yes, Singapore really does go all out in decorating and preparing for its celebrations. I love waking up one morning and realizing that everything is fully decked out in festive finery — it feels as though the city was given an entire makeover overnight, or with the snap of someone’s fingers. The light displays are one of my favorite parts, too! Thanks for stopping by, and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

  • I love the blues (the music, not having them). Fortunately, neither winter nor the holidays give me the blues.

    • DamyantiB says:

      That’s good to hear, Malcolm! The blues are such a downer (but music-wise, I completely agree with you). All the best in the upcoming year!

  • Nicole Pyles says:

    My December is equally as stressful. I am dealing with a similar situation of having to work despite personal stress and personal exhaustion. My day job gives me a break but I worry about having any break from freelance work during this next week off. I can’t really afford it to be honest, which gives me relentless anxiety. I pray for help all the time from the Lord and I know He is with me. But it’s very difficult. So I totally know where you are at.

    • DamyantiB says:

      I’m so sorry, that sounds awful! I really hope work eases up soon, and you get some moments of peace from everything that’s going on. It’s good to hear that you have somewhere to turn for support. Thank you for sharing your experience with me and letting me know that I’m not alone — it means the world to me. Sending you hugs and all the positive vibes.

  • December is always stressful for me, with Christmas and updating everything writing and promotion-related. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are no work, just veg out days.

    • DamyantiB says:

      We all need some of those days when we do absolutely nothing but vegetating and lazing about. And none of us should feel guilty about it! After all the effort you put into your work, you deserve the rest and relaxation. Happy New Year!

  • I am like you, Damyanti, in that the holiday schedule is much like the rest of the year–write, baby, write! I think the problem you have is you need to be more introverted (I’m saying this a little tongue in cheek). Then you don’t need friends, or meals out, or relaxation. Just a few good books to read, a few ideas to write, and the world is your oyster.

    Have a wonderful holiday, Damyanti!

    • DamyantiB says:

      I love that, Jacqui! I have far too many books which need reading and ideas which need writing. I think I might spend a bit too much time holed-up at home, though, so I’m trying to get out and take in the fresh air more often. Wishing you a fantastic New Year!

  • You have survived so much professionally and personally. Science teaches us that what can be done once can be done again. Progress not perfection. 🙂 It is Hurricane Season here in Louisiana that unsettles me … having two hurricanes make you homeless for 7 months can leave a few bruises emotionally! May this New Year find you up to the challenges it brings, Roland

    • DamyantiB says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Roland. I can’t imagine how stressful that must have been. Sending you my best wishes, and hoping that 2024 has good things in store for you.