Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Season

Do writers take time off at Christmas? I suppose successful writers do and why shouldn't they? They've already slaved their way to being published or produced and no longer need to spend every free nanosecond writing or thinking about writing. On the other hand if you're a struggling want-to-be writer I suppose those free seconds are a missed opportunity if they aren't used for honing your craft.

Christmas is the busiest time of the year for me; day-job wise. Although I finally left the trenches of retail this year (and I don't think I shot myself in the foot) I still provide support for my comrades on the front lines and this is proving to be most challenging. Whilst many (most?) people are winding down for the Christmas holiday the retailers are trying to make enough money to carry them through the next twelve months in an increasingly difficult and hostile market.

I somehow imagined that when I started my new job in IT I would stroll through my front door each evening at six o'clock and generate page after page of spectacular and worthy wordage (like Stephen J. Cannell) while my wife gazed on adoringly. This pretty fantasy failed to feature out-of-hours mobile support, an unexpected promotion, reduced headcounts, the M-42, extended hours, the tiniest and dampest house outside of Lilliputian Atlantis or a wife who is herself working through an intense PGCE course.

Post Christmas I'm sure the routine will settle down and I will be able to structure my time properly to give me maximum opportunity not just to write but to continue those pursuits that inform my writing such as reading the papers, watching television, going to the pictures and, most oppressed of all hobbies, reading precious books. Of course, if I really want to be a writer shouldn't I be doing these things now? Shouldn't I be hunched over the kitchen table until three in the morning redrafting my latest script? Before dashing to the office for seven thirty in a caffeine fugue? Do I want to be a successful writer or not? Surely I should want it so bad that nothing stands in my way?

Uncharacteristically I've been thinking about New Year resolutions (usually they begin to occur to me around March) and I think I need to come up with some quite specific targets and ultimatums for the year ahead. Either I work consistently or I stop torturing Emma and the three people who read this blog with whingey not-writing moans. Like this one.


  1. have a read of this...

  2. Thanks Dan, that's interesting.

    I'm guilty of exactly the sort of binge-writing that Van Pelt describes and he's right; all you end up with is something that needs redrafting and no time to redraft it.

    Routine is the way forward, just need to get Christmas out of the way...