‘Twas ten seconds before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except for an author still working on a story.
Since today is actually Christmas, at least in my time zone, I’d like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you’re not one who follows this holiday, than I wish you a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Chanukkah, or even a Blessed Solstice. The point is, I hope you’re going to be interacting with someone in close physical proximity instead of using your keyboard or smartphone. This year, that won’t be me. It’s a quiet yet oddly warm evening out here in flyover country. This is the second Christmas in a row that I’ll be celebrating alone. Last year, I volunteered to move two of my kids across the country, since my publishing company owns a large box truck. I ended up stranded in a snowstorm when the windshield wipers and the cabin heater broke. At least this year I’m at my writing cabin, and it’s warm. I’d better knock on some wood before I toss it in the fireplace.
Writing can be quite a lonely profession. We all get caught up in whatever writing project or looming deadline that is fast approaching, and we forget that it’s the season to pay attention to those around you. You see a lot of writing advice talking about focusing on writing. There’s a corollary to that thought. Don’t forget to live. Don’t forget to interact. Don’t forget to appreciate those you care about, because one day you might find yourself stranded in a blizzard or alone in a quiet house. Neglecting the truly important things around you just to get the final polish on a short story isn’t worth it. Spend some time with those you love, or even those you tolerate. Sometimes the story is polished enough and you can shove it out the door so you can go play catch with your kid or make your significant other a candlelit dinner.
After all, all work and no play makes Jack go a little crazy in the Overlook Hotel.