Holidays, man. If you celebrate the typical Judeo-Christian calendar, we’re in the last leg of the holiday marathon. We’ve hit the wall. Those of us with kids are looking forward to December 25 in excitement and at credit card bills with dread. Those of us without kids are…well, we’re pretty much doing the same thing. If you’re blessed with family close by this time of year, I can also guarantee you’ll feel off your rocker and at least a little overwhelmed, like your normal routine has been blasted apart by tinsel and well-meaning grandmas and holiday shoppers who park like this:
However, one thing I deliberately take off my plate each and every year around this time is my writing responsibilities. I put down the pen, tuck away the self-flagellating tendencies, close my laptop (okay, I just close my word processor, who am I kidding) and just…
Why You Shouldn’t Write During the Holidays
To some degree, all writers are watchers. People-observers. Students of human drama. And when I write during the holidays, a time of prime human drama, I find myself reaching back in the pantry of yesteryear’s emotions and observations. Scenes I’ve noted from a dreary and cold November, times so sun-shot and August that they feel false and smothering in the chill December air.
I need to be present in the now, soaking up all the cool and horrifying things the humans in my life are doing. No time of the year does my arsenal fill up faster than during the holidays. I need that time to put paint back on my paintbrush.
And, I would argue, so do you.
If you have deadlines, great. If you just started a daily writing habit and don’t want to lose your edge, fine. Write on the margins, in the early mornings when the sun is down and the world is dead. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mind mostly empty for as long as you can manage.
You’re at the writing grocery store this time of year. Might as well make the best of it.
What do you think? Do you have a hard time writing during the holidays? Are greeting cards more your speed right now? Share in the comments.