The moment December knocked on the door, I have been swamped with things to do. I have completely put the writing aside for this month, because I can both pull myself to threads and cry the entire January how little I can manage or spend the December on everything else and then return to inspiration in January. Or just wait out until the urge comes and I hit the writing spring again. It’s just the way it works for me – inspiration can come at any time, but if you are swamped with your daily life, the story isn’t going anywhere and there is little I can do about it.
I take it as a vacation. There is time to play and time to work. As much as I’d like to take writing as a hobby, I don’t think I’ll ever manage that. It’s hard work and that’s just how things are. But as with daily work you do need time off, so does writing demand the time off, too. Why not use holidays as an excuse?
We like to discard holidays often because they are so time consuming and we’d gladly hide away in our computers while the rest of the family is busy preparing. Unless you have deadline breathing down your next first thing in January, I’d say take the time off and worry for one thing at the time. Our brains need to rest at some time and why not give ourselves the vacation our grey cells are screaming for? Why not use December for that time off with your novel to receive the much needed second look on your plot and characters? Who knows – something inspirational might happen while you are not occupied with your current novel.
I can hear objections rising from right and left to this up call. Holidays are made up to spend money! Holidays are old and unnecessary in modern society! Why should I loose two wonderful weeks of work time – that is 14 days, 336 hours, 20 160 minutes, 1 209 600 seconds! Think of all the money you could make!
Don’t overwork your brain. If you don’t like holidays’ commercial side (which I don’t), make your own holiday decorations and food. I made little ornament angels and the reaction I saw in my toddler niece when she noticed them was priceless. We are creative people – this is the season where to show it.
It costs 3 EURO to buy half a kilo of gingerbread paste. I made my own and paid less than 8 for four kilos. Too time consuming? Not really – time it and you get my point. Too old fashioned? Nobody would do it in a modern world? I am not starting this argument here as I’m quite sure many already know my position on what actually IS “modern”.
About loosing your two weeks of work time? Loose it. Have a holiday instead. There’s nothing worse for a family than a father or a mother, who blame them on Christmas Eve for holding on to traditions and taking time off from their daily duties. I can’t even count how many holidays have been ruined for me, because my father counted up money lost for every hour we didn’t spend on working. Don’t do it to your family. They have worked just as hard and deserve that one night off to spend as they choose.
Our imagined world can be very important to us and supportive, but if we loose our real friends and family, then realizing that this is the only world that is left to accept us, is rather grim. My favorite quote is “the tree of fantasy is rooted in reality” and I mean every word of it. If you don’t nourish your tree, it will never bloom and support fruit. I’ve got one of my best ideas going during the holidays, because I was doing something else, not actively searching for them. Ideas that work, because they are natural, not stitched together through necessity and suitability.
Take the time off, let yourself be carried away and enjoy the night – call your friend and go dancing in the golden street lights if you can’t do anything else! I promise – it will be night you never forget.