Thursday, December 13, 2007

Writing Over Christmas

In a discussion loop I'm in, the topic this week is writing over the holiday break (Christmas-New Year). I was surprised at how many people seemed to be locked into writing in order to meet deadlines, or editing to meet deadlines. Why? The editors are unlikely to be in their offices, waiting with bated breath for said manuscripts to turn up. And this time of year, most people are in a state of chaos in their everyday lives, trying to fulfill family obligations, deal with kids off school, buying gifts, cooking etc. Who needs to be writing/editing? Who could guarantee to do a great job of it?

I wonder all of these things because I have no deadline, other than some I set for myself. For the first time in many years, we have no plans for Christmas Day (other than maybe finding somewhere to feed us and then do the dishes, i.e. a restaurant). There are places we could go, places we have been invited, but we might possibly stay home, take the phone off the hook and veg out. I might write. Read. Sleep.

The urge to write is always there, but I recognise when the brain is out of action. And that's now. Instead, I am reading, planning to watch some movies, walk, relax, maybe get a massage for that troublesome neck problem my poor computer use created. I know the time will come when I'll have to write because I can't not write any longer. Sometimes it's good to just stop pushing the words out and wait for them to want to emerge on their own. In the meantime, I'm thinking about my two current projects - both novels - and allowing myself to ponder over some new ideas for them.


Kristi Holl said...

What a lot of wisdom in this post! I applaud you for going against the tide and slowing down and enjoying the holiday and letting things simmer. You're right--it's crazy to ruin Christmas in the name of rushing off half-edited mss to editorial desks where they will sit for weeks--or longer--while editors back from holiday breaks dig through the piles. Letting the ideas emerge...what a lovely concept!

Sherryl said...

I have only three days of solitude before everyone else finishes work. I'm desperate for peace and quiet! Maybe I will write "Gone!" in my diary for those three days... and go. Somewhere.