Sunday, November 25, 2012

writing is not a holiday - Alisa M. Libby

Ah, the holidays.

They're kind of like writing. When the ideas are all in your head there is so much possibility - you're giddy with the potential. It's exciting and sparkly and magical. You daydream about writing while you're at work, while you're on the bus and squished in like sardines. You think about it on the train, sitting with your little notebook writing pages and pages of notes while the woman behind you argues on her cell phone about the right way to cook corned beef. And you get home and it's dark out and you have dinner and look at your notes but you're too tired so you go to bed and you dream about your novel and how wonderful it is. And how in just a few days over the weekend you and your book will cuddle up together like two little peas in a pod. Just you and your book together for hours and hours and oh won't it be beautiful!

And then and then and then it's Saturday and the day stretches out before you and you sit down with your notes and your inspiration and expectations and you write and write and then...

blah.

Holidays are like this, for me. They seem all sparkly and wonderful and fun from a distance. And there is all of this expectation that they WILL be all of those things. They seem that way on television and in commercials and in movies. I'm sure they are that way in other people's homes. And for me there is warmth and delight at times - but it's not the way it was when I was a kid. It never is.

And the story in my head is never quite what I had hoped it would be when it falls out on the page. I wish I had some very wise and optimistic words to share - to tell myself, more like - but all I can do is temper my expectations, both for writing and for holidays. That is all that any of us can do.

3 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. The holidays are so often a let down -- all the hype and preparations and then, BOOM! it's over for another year.

    I don't have the same honeymoon with my writing, though. I tend to lean toward everything I write is just plain terrible. I rely heavily on crit partners and beta readers to set me straight, otherwise, I'd never hand anything in.

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  2. Oh yes. I can certainly relate. Every once in a while things end up as shiny on paper as they were in my head, but boy does it take a lot of work to get there.

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  3. That's the strange part of having a creative job, isn't it? All anyone ever sees is the glittery, beautiful end result (which makes writing seem easy). Non-writers rarely understand that writing a novel is every bit as much work as building a house!

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