Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Put down your pen this holiday season (kinda R/WP and FD)

Since just before Thanksgiving, I've seen several posts giving tips on how you can squeeze in extra writing time amid the chaos of the holidays. However, while some of these lists are entertaining to read, I have some better advice for you... Don't!

In recent years, the holidays have become about gathering gifts while stuffing yourself with as many tasty food items as you can. Now, doing these things is all well and good, so I'm not saying not to do them. I am, however, saying that while you open gifts and eat as many mince pies and cookies as you can, you should remember that this isn't what the holidays are really about.

The holidays are meant to be about spending time with the people you care about, and showing them how much they mean to you. They're meant to be about remembering those less fortunate than yourself, and sparing at least a thought or prayer for their health and happiness, if not some of your time to actually help them out. What they are not meant to be about, however, is tricking your family in to doing something without you just so you can get in some extra writing time.

Don't get me wrong... I love to write, and I'm all for you writing when you can. But if you have to decide between spending time with your family and friends, or spending a bit more time working on your most recent writing project, you should go with the family and friends option; especially during the holidays.

If you have a few free minutes to write... Great! If not... Well, you can write later.

Don't try to justify your choice of writing over family time by telling yourself you'll make it up to them later. For one thing, time with them later doesn't make up for missing out on doing something with them now. For another thing, there may not be a later. Think how guilty you'd feel if you skipped out on family time this Christmas, only to find that one of the people who had wanted your attention doesn't make it to next Christmas. It could happen, you know!

So, ignore those tips for finding more time to write amid the chaos of the holidays, and instead put your pen down or turn off your computer or tablet, and focus on family time, or time with friends, this Christmas. After all, your writing will always be there, but your loved ones may not.

In fact, whether you're a writer or not, turn off your computer, put away your tablet, eReader, or whatever, and spend some time with your family and friends this holiday season. You don't have to spend every moment with them, of course. Unless you want to, that is. Just make them your priority.

And, if you don't have anyone to spend the holidays with, consider doing something to brighten the spirits of someone else who might be in the same situation, or bringing some holiday cheer to someone some other way.

6 comments:

Intense Guy said...

Nicely put! And the nicest thing is ... you practice what you preach!

Victoria Zigler said...

Iggy:
Most of it. I'm not so good at the staying off the computer part. *wink*

Although, in my defence, most of my computer time today was spent on TeamSpeak with my brother, creating my pony character for a Ponyfinder game we're having with his girlfriend and our Dad on new year's eve, so it was family time more than anything else.

Jeanie said...

Brilliant. Beautifully written and perfect timing -- and for more than writers. Being with the people you love is what matters most. We won't always have the chance to "get back to it." Sometimes those moments are lost forever. They need to be cherished now.

Have a wonderful Christmas, Tori. You sure are working with the right idea!

Victoria Zigler said...

Jeanie:
Exactly! You have a wonderful Christmas too! :)

Rita said...

Good advice! This is the time of year for family, friends, festivities, forgiveness, fun, favors...gratitude, gifts, gladness and no solitude or scrooging--LOL! Have a happy time!! :) :)

Victoria Zigler said...

Rita:
Exactly! :)