Why Writers Hate Christmas.

                       The White Witch may have been on to something...
So Christmas is coming up and that sets my panic button all aflutter. Christmas is very bad for writers. Very bad. Why?

1. All your children are home on holiday from school. It’s highly doubtful that you will be swept away by Daniel’s abs or Keahi’s breathless declarations of love for Leila…when there are five children squabbling, breathing your air, eating all the food that isn’t hidden safely under your bed, pestering you about shopping for presents. When you’re a parent, Christmas is all about children. Writing a book? Are you kidding? Hell no. Only bad, evil, uncaring, Narnia White Witch women write books during the Christmas season.

2. You are so much more liable to fall prey to GUILT. You remember how your mum decorated the entire house for Christmas when you were a child and you realize your house is Christmas-cheerless. You hear your mother’s voice in your ear, your brain, following you into the writing cave, “Mothers are the makers of magic. Mothers create memories. Mothers make Christmas for years to come.” And so you must pack away that laptop and bust out the Martha-Stewart voodoo doll. Channel your inner Mrs Claus. Your inner decorating and baking muse. You must make Xmas cookies with eager children. And let everyone have a stir of the Xmas pudding and make a wish – just like how your mum did. You must deck the house from top to toe in green pine and red sparkly baubles. And rifle through nightclub  rubbish bins like a drunk – in search of empty wine bottles so you can dot them with taper candles, creating magical centerpieces worthy of Vogue magazine.  And you have to do it with a smile. Dammnit. Or else it doesn’t count for blessings in heaven. So you do all that and then at 2am you try to answer the call of the book you’re working on. Lani, what about meee? And you get frustrated because you’re tired and you can’t get all the words and images out just the way you want them to. So you’re frustrated. And meaner. Badder.  Ready to decree your home, ‘Always winter and NEVER Christmas!‘ (cue witch laugh here.)

3. There are family and friends crawling out of the woodwork. Because of course that’s what Christmas is about. Spending time with loved ones. Joyous happy times. Not sitting in your room with earphones on, blasting the soundtrack from Breaking Dawn. Or mouthing all the curse-words from Eminem. With a blaring sign on the door LEAVE ME ALONE. I’M WRITING. DON’T BOTHER ME UNLESS YOU HAVE DONUTS. No. During the Christmas season, you have to talk to people. Go to family dinners. Host family gatherings. Smile a lot. Visit friends. (yes, I do have friends thank you very much…) Take them cookies. Smile some more. Heaven forbid…sing Christmas carols. Christmas is not for solitary hermit types. No. They get locked up in a cupboard because they’re too sour. Too Scrooge McDuck.

The Christmas season may be all about love. The Saviour. Family,. Sharing. Friends. Joy. But for a writer who’s trying to finish several books? Who’s addicted to her laptop? Who’s only half-living in the real world because she’s actually existing in that book place where her characters hang out?

Christmas is depressing. Frustrating. And guilt-ridden.

I think I need some Turkish Delight.

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6 comments

  1. At least it's your holiday. Those of us who aren't of the Nazarene persuasion 😉 have to have it anyway – give gifts to those of our friends who are, spend time shopping for gifts for friends at work, and spend time with our families anyway because it's a public holiday, so what's your excuse for not being with us? And then, because it's our summer holidays, even those of us without our own children are taking out the nieces and nephews who are home for the holidays to the latest Disney movie or to the pantomime in the park…Bah humbug! (or boiled sweets or truffles…)

  2. Hmmmm I think I'm going to throw a spanner in the works and state that I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I don't know why exactly. Well, I do know why, I love giving gifts for some deranged reason. It's true that the holidays really do cut into writing time, but I'm just so excited it doesn't matter to me. Maybe Santa will bring you a new novel idea to make up for the time the holiday has taken from you!

  3. I'm definitely in the same boat this year. I'm working so hard to release my next book in mid January. It's going to kill me. On the plus side, I paid my daughter and her bf to decorate the house for Christmas this weekend. I worked, while they slaved. It was well worth it. But then hubby made me feel bad, "You know, we only have them at home for a few more years."While that may be true, I'm pretty sure they will still come home for gifts! I'm cutting way back on my baking this year. I used to make cookies and treats, well pretty much for the world, this year just family!

  4. Firstly.. I LOVE Turkish Delight ! and secondly.. hope your DECEMBER is one of great memories shared with those nearest and dearest to you. I'm sure the other half of you (living in the real world instead of "existing in that book place") will appreciate some much deserved time out. December will fly by and you'll be back to writing in no time. 🙂

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