As the weather gets colder, writers start to cuff themselves to their own book projects
“Cuffing season” is in the Merriam-Webster dictionary describing how single people find a partner and attach themselves to that partner to stay warm during the colder months. Well, writers are doing the same thing, except cuffing themselves to new writing projects.
I recently completed the Black Creatives Revisions Workshop with We Need Diverse Books, the nonprofit organization working alongside the publishing industry to diversify the industry on the publisher level and the creator level. The summer-long workshop included monthly discussions with successful traditionally published authors and literary agents of color and meetings with Black editors to help us hone our manuscripts.
For the workshop, I had put forth my most promising project: a social justice, historical fiction, young adult novel. I came up with the idea for the book in February 2020, and when that weekend in mid-March that year came along with warnings to stay inside, I began researching and writing with all the time I was forced to hunker down to avoid contracting the unpredictable COVID-19.
Now with the manuscript on its way to industry insiders, I can start querying agents and outlining the next book. Like thousands of writers around the world, I usually spend October plotting a book in anticipation for National Novel Writing Month in November. Known as NaNoWriMo, the movement that interferes with Thanksgiving plans motivates us writers to craft 50,000 words within the month to call ourselves “winners.” That means laser focus. I win almost every year—I “lost” in 2016, traumatized by the presidential election.
That being said, I’m spending most of my days after I clock out of my real job, wrapped up in my blanket on my loveseat with my laptop. Cozying up to my next book. Also cozying up with a published book, or two, or three, or five. The to-be-read list never goes down, despite all these efforts.
With the slower months, content on shelit.com may come out slower. This newsletter will take hiatus in November aka NaNoWriMo. But hopefully the book and book-to-screen selections below will entertain us enough to keep us warm during the seasons like a piping pumpkin spice latte.