Friday, 10 December 2010

Trying To Write At Christmas?

By Richard Jay Parker

If you’re like me, the next couple of weeks aren’t usually that conducive to writing. Does a writer truly take a break though? Even when you’re traversing the high street and frantically trying to find some inspiration for gift ideas, the imagination has a sly habit of skulking back to any unfinished creative business.

Mine does this all the time - when I’m sleeping, when I’m eating and when I’m (meant to be) socialising. Subconscious thought is often a very good way of solving a problem or refining an idea. It’s frequently better than trying to focus a hundred percent and I’ve found that, after a night of my brain chewing something over, I often wake with the solution to a problem I spent the day before trying to solve.

To use another worn metaphor – it’s like that swan gliding along the surface of the water while underneath its flippers are paddling furiously.

Whether you like Christmas or not it’s full of the sort of diversion that will allow your brain to function in a way it probably doesn’t the rest of the year. Daily routines are changed and thought patterns get a different work out to normal including that classic reboot method of systematically attacking them with alcohol.

It is good to get away from the keyboard, if only for a few days of gluttony, and the start of a New Year is a great way to reflect on what you’ve done and what you’d like to do.

I do enjoy Christmas and will dutifully immerse myself in its excesses purely because of the above. The more I enjoy myself, the better start I’ll have to my writing year.

I’ve convinced myself – how about you?
Last chance to win a signed copy of Richard's novel STOP ME in Christmas competition. Visit
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  1. Richard, hopefully this Christmas I will be relaxing more than last year. Your topic reminded me of last Christmas when my Publisher e-mailed my edited manuscript back to me on Christmas Eve morning! Being that it was my first novel, and my first experience in the business, I spent every waking non-Christmas moment editing.
    Thanks for posting.
    Continued success to you,


  2. I talked about this very thing on my own blog a week or so ago--I think trying to find/make time to write during the holidays is something that weighs on every writer's mind.

    I decided that yes, I will write this December, but that since I'm between official projects, I would start something just for fun and see what it turned into.

    So far I'm a little freaked out. It appears I'm writing a Christmas themed romance. Waaaaaaay scarier than any of the horror/sci-fi/speculative/suspense stories I usually gravitate to.

    Anyway, I think it's good to relax productivity goals when Christmas hits, at least to some degree, but I know from experience that the New Year seems all the more promising if I haven't entirely slacked off in December.

    Enjoy your dutiful excesses this month! May you have a merry Christmas and merry writing month as well.

  3. Hi James,

    Thanks for dropping in. Wow - I didn't think many publishers worked on Christmas Eve! Hope you have a more relaxed Christmas this year.

    Hi Eve,

    Thanks for your contribution. Glad to hear you're so conscientious over the holidays and hope the romance pans out.

    Hope you'll take a breather on Christmas Day though.

    Happy holidays!