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The Holiday Distraction

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The holly. The ivy. The mistletoe. The lights. The tree. The presents under the tree. The same holiday movies on TV that we’ve watched all our lives. The anticipation of travel and seeing family. The shopping and wrapping. The food. The parties. The music. [And somewhere mixed into all of that, the Reason.]

I don’t know about you, but the five or six weeks of the holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s) are the least productive for me as a writer out of the whole year. Not necessarily because I’m so busy—actually, I’m home more during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas because I hate going out and fighting the hoardes of people out shopping. (And here’s a great example why.)

The main reason why I have trouble getting any writing done this time of year is the destractions. There’s always one more gift to wrap, one more card to send, one more thing to do. I’ll be headed for Baton Rouge on December 22—only ten days from today—to spend the week celebrating Christmas with my extended family, capped off by the wedding of a younger cousin on the 28th and an annual celebratory dinner of my parents’ and sister’s wedding anniversary on the 29th (yes, my sister got married on my parents’ anniversary). I’ve planned my trip so that I have two days off remaining when I get home so that I can sleep in and recover from my “vacation” before I have to be back at work on January 2.

I’ll be taking my laptop with me, but, as in years past, I have a very strong suspicion I will not get any writing done. Maybe some revision that needs to be done, but I know it’s highly unlikely I’ll get any forward progress made on any of my three open WIPs (Peace in the Valley, Ransome’s Crossing, and A Major Event Inc.).

[See, that’s what I mean about distractions . . . I just got distracted from writing about distractions by writing about one of my main distractions—my upcoming trip!]

Then, there’s the whole blogging thing. Having just wrapped up a series, there’s no way I’m starting a new one this close to Christmas. There are some things I’d love to blog about that I’m doing, but most of that involves secrets surrounding Christmas gifts, so I can’t share.

[Speaking of distractions, this post is taking me a really long time to write, because I keep stopping to make notes on things I’m thinking of as I write this that I need to do in the next ten days to finish up everything for gifts and the trip.]

Of course, this time of year brings benefits too, especially for someone on a tight budget . . . a primary one being the free meals I’m getting—our publisher took the editorial staff out to lunch yesterday; our company lunch is Friday (after which we don’t have to come back to the office); I’ve been invited to dinner by a coworker for Friday night; and one of our vendors is taking the editorial staff to lunch Monday.

Then there’s the whole DVD and movie release issue. Monday, Ruth and I went to see The Golden Compass. All controversy aside, don’t go see it unless you just really need a good nap. The dialogue is hokey and the movie is so boring it feels like four hours instead of just under two. The sequel to National Treasure (the only movie I’ve ever liked Nick Cage in) opens 12/21, and we’re already planning to go see that. But wait, that’s not all. Yesterday, LOST season three released on DVD, as did Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and The Bourne Ultimatum. So last night, I watched a couple of episodes of LOST while getting some house cleaning done. Tonight, I’ll watch HP while wrapping gifts, and tomorrow night, I’ll watch Bourne while doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen (the big, major cleaning that has to be done before being gone for a week). But I am very proud of myself—I only bought LOST and got the other two through Netflix as I decided I could (and should) wait to buy them until after Christmas. Then, next Tuesday, Stardust, one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, comes out on DVD (also being Netflixed instead of purchased right now).

Okay, so I’ve been rambling for about 750 words now, which constitutes a lengthy blog post—and I haven’t really managed to do more than just explore most of my distractions. But, I have written a blog post as I promised myself I would after skipping yesterday.

As far as the distractions go, I’m going to continue to be distracted by them . . . because this is the only time of the year when I can allow myself to be completely consumed in what’s going on everywhere else but in front of the computer screen. Plus, I know that after Christmas, there will be lots to blog about and new ideas to explore, new writing-craft topics to delve into. For now, I’m going to enjoy the distractions and allow myself to get caught up in all of the stuff this season brings with it.

I hope you do the same!

  1. Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:41 pm

    Lots of distractions out here too. The last 5 days we’ve had a full house due to the snow. Can’t get much done that way! But yes, this is the time of year for fun distractions, and my blogging has been slipping as well. There’ll be tons to blog about in the new year!


  2. Wednesday, December 12, 2007 3:20 pm

    Ah, yes, snow. I’ve been seeing that (and ice) all over the news. We, on the other hand, had a record HIGH temperature yesterday of 76-degrees. But, we might get a little bit of snow overnight Saturday, just in time to make the roads slick and dangerous Sunday morning.


  3. Wednesday, December 12, 2007 3:53 pm

    SNOW! We have about a foot of snow on the ground right now. Pretty good sledding. I’m feeling scattered and distracted this holiday season. But I’m letting a new story idea percolate and compost. I’ll be ready and raring to go when the holidays are over.


  4. Wednesday, December 12, 2007 6:09 pm

    I wish it would snow here! There hasn’t been a white Christmas in Alexandria in 165 years.

    Yes, lots of distractions. I just spent an hour wrapping presents, and I need to write my resignation letter. Blogging is practically zero right now, edits are sitting at zero right now. I really need to write a blog post about my first research trip…


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