Well, it's that time of year again. That time that we all look forward to all year, thinking about how we're going to spend time with our families, exchange beautifully wrapped presents, laugh and maybe drink a little egg nog. Where the house smells like turkey and christmas cookies, and for once you don't mind the dog being underfoot because this is the time when everyone being together is exactly what you want.
Of course, the reality of the holiday often pales in comparison with what we hope it to be. Family can't make it because of work, or they do show up and every starts yelling at each other. That dog gets in the way even more than he normally does, and more than once you send him whimpering off to the corner because you stepped on his tail. The turkey is dry, you forgot the stuffing, and why did your aunt think that her 'famous' fruit cake (which no one can stand) would make a helpful addition to the menu?
For me, of course, Christmas comes with it's own set of challenges. Every December I promise myself that I'm not going to let myself slack off just because it's Christmas. I'm going to get that editing done (and, yes, it's always editing) and then I go ahead and give myself a pass because I really do have a lot of things going on in December. From birthdays (Mom's, Dad's, Aunt's, Uncle's and Cousin's. That's not even including my friends.) to travelling for the holidays. Add to that the fact that my boyfriend wants me to go see his family too, and I'm faced with a very long month and not enough shifts at work to cover it all.
I can get pretty stressed, and my writing and editing suffers because of it.
Don't get me wrong. I still love Christmas. I love getting to see my family (even if I do have to travel in the snow to see them). I love smelling my grandmother's cooking (and then eating it too, of course.) Not all the presents I buy or get are the most amazing things in the world, but it's nice to know that we're thinking about each other. And, yes, my family does sometimes yell and scream at each other, and yes it can be overwhelming, but that doesn't mean that I'm not glad to be there and to have them.
There are people in this world that aren't nearly as lucky, and I thank God every day that I have so many people in my life that I can be this stressed at Christmas.
This year, though, I have a very firm goal in my head. I want to have my novel edited and out to Betas by Christmas. Which means that with everything else going on -- the buying of presents, the baking, the wrapping and the travelling -- I have to make time to editing. I have to force myself to set aside time to sit down and work on my writing. Because, if I can't do that, what am I doing trying to write?
I want to be published. I can't continue to act like it's something fun I do on the side. I have to make time for it and not think that it's something I can do later.
What are you doing for Christmas? Will you be making time for writing or editing this December?