Momentum is one of a writer's best allies. When you're making good, consistent progress, you can see your goal drawing closer. This provides motivation, which produces more progress, which continues to build the momentum and, therefore, the motivation. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. When there's very little progress, there's less motivation to continue with the process, even when the next step of that process is relatively easy.
In this case, the process involves going through my manuscript chapter by chapter, polishing up the writing and eliminating as many unnecessary words as possible, clarifying things, and generally trying to make it professional without making it come across as "writerly." So far, I've eliminated almost 1,000 unnecessary words from the manuscript, and I'm not even halfway through it yet. I'm sure my beta readers, when they get it, will point out a lot more to me.
Getting the ball rolling again after the holidays was more difficult than I'd hoped. After I got back from visiting my parents, I went right into a six-day work week. Immediately after that, I traveled back home to pick up something I ordered in Oregon before Christmas, but didn't come in before I had to get back to work. Tomorrow, I'll be making my way back to Nevada again--which means no writing will get done until Thursday at the earliest. And then, you guessed it, I'm back to work again! I got some polishing done today, but it's slow going. I'm about 38% of the way through the manuscript, and I hope to have it done before January is over, but we'll see.
Meanwhile, ideas and inspiration continues to develop for the next Kricket book, as well as ideas for the overall story arc that may end up taking three or even four books to completely play out. The challenge will be keeping these books complete in their own right so that I don't fall into the trap of being a new writer trying to market a series. But, as they say, "Write what you want and worry about the rest later." And right now, what I want to write is Kricket.