Before you all get well and truly swept up in Christmas and New Year madness, I'd like to get in now and send out a HAPPY FESTIVE SEASON message! I hope it turns out to be exactly as you want it to be. Spare a thought for me as I work some night shifts in the days before Christmas! Sniff sniff. (Thanks to my mum, by the way, for the cool flashing Christmas pictures in this post, which are her own creations!)
What I was wondering though, as I do my best to forget the fact that yet another year is coming to a close, was how many writers will be sticking to their writing regime over this period? Who will be locking themselves away in their writing cages, despite the jingle of bells around them? Is it healthy to keep up the daily word count, no matter what? Should we insist on giving ourselves a break during this festive time? I'm not talking about blog writing, which some people no doubt have to suspend as they'll be away from computers, etc. I also know that it's sometimes just too busy a time for a writer to get any intelligent phrases down!
What also comes to mind at this time of the year is the reminder that more months have gone by and I'm still waiting, waiting, waiting for responses. Forget the festive wine, I want a good long whine instead. I want a good grizzle. I want to throw all of my dummies out of the cot! The little clock is ticking by and all of the outfits that consider manuscripts now seem to want to be given three-month windows before giving responses. Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright.
The other thing, as January the 1st approaches, is what to come up with as a feasible New Year's resolution. Write more? Start sleeping with publishing house people? Publish myself? Give the whole "want to get published" thing up so I can have an anxiety free life? Change genres and start writing crime or sci-fi novels? Truth is, I will probably just maintain the status quo. A sucker for punishment?
On one feasible level, I've decided to reduce the time I spend sitting down in front of a screen. My day job involves a lot of this and it's becoming all too common at home as well. I am going to try to plan my "in front of screen" time. I am also doing daily exercise now. I am walking every morning before breakfast, for 45 minutes - that's when I'm not doing a dreadful 0730 start at work! I am also doing 20 push-ups after the walk. Superman in three months? Just call me Clark.
Yes, I have been spending far too much time slouching down in front of all you lot, forgetting to keep all of my bits and pieces moving. Don't get me wrong though, I do like connecting with you! It's not about cutting back on the blog or the writing, it's about working out a more productive and efficient schedule. Well, that's the resolution; we'll see how it all goes in January.
Also, is it true that people read a "festive season book"? Do people actually go out and choose a book that is especially appropriate for this time of year? I have never done this. My reading choices go unchanged. I'm currently reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It has nothing to do with Christmas or this festive season. All the newspapers are full of advice about what we should read at this time, yet - and remember that there are not many who actually have extended holidays right now - I really can't believe that people rush out and buy books for reading beside the holly and punch. Of course, there are books for presents, but they wouldn't necessarily have the festive theme, would they?
Well, that's my festive wondering out of the way. Now, where's the wine? I need to turn my attention to greater thoughts about how much I'm going to enjoy my Christmas dinner (it's hard being a vegetarian in France during these times, by the way, but I have managed to find good alternatives). I also need to think about how I'm going to celebrate on New Year's eve.
Oh, and before I forget, Jessica Schneider has an interesting pre-Christmas review of what sounds like a great movie, one that I really must get round to watching. Could this be good for any festive season cynics?