“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody”
Most people like weekends. Or half-days. Or vacation.
Why? Because I’m not writing on weekends, half-days or while on vacation.
You think I’m joking, but I’m not. Just ask my family. Every time I visit them, they basically never see me. Because I’m writing.
I’m pretty dedicated to my book. I live it, breathe it, dream it. I have a 300-song playlist dedicated to it. I talk about my characters like they are real (Actually, I talk TO my characters like they are real.)
But there are times when this obsession just doesn’t make sense. Now, for example. The holidays are upon us and I have to, like, go to parties and dinners and MAKE dinners and be social and friendly. All that adds up to one thing: Less time to write.
Of course, part of me wants to shake my fist and curse at the holidays. I’m like a crazed ship captain who won’t release the tiller even though the ship is GOING DOWN, GODDAMMIT. No, I shout in a Scottish accent as the first mate pries my cold, stiff hands from the wheel. I will na’ leave mah ship! I canna do it!
I should say, that’s how I used to be. Things are a little different now. Because I started noticing something after these forced absences from my book.
Afterward, I was a better writer. Impossible problems were suddenly a cakewalk. Nonsensical character motivations were more easily tweaked. I just felt better—fresher, newer. I felt like I did when I first started this journey, instead of like the aforementioned crazed, sea-dog captain who knows the ocean so well that it holds no magic for him anymore.
So this holiday season, I’m going to embrace the time away from my book. If you are anything like me, I encourage you to do the same. Attempt to enjoy yourself. Order yourself not to think of your writing. Vow that you won’t slink off to your computer and sneak a few sentences in when everyone else is in a post-dinner food coma.
At first, you’ll be a sulky pain-in-the-ass who is generally irritating to be around. But eventually, you’ll come back to life and breathe and think things like: “Look: life! Stars! Nature and friends and other good sh**!” Then you’ll return to your book/work with new eyes, stronger than ever.
(Title video below)