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Holiday Opportunities

The Rich Writer: Holiday Opportunities

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Opportunities

I bet I'm not the only writer out there who finds it hard to write during the December holiday craziness. It seems like we've had a concert, presentation, art show, or meeting every night since the month started--and that's not counting all the extra time we spend making, buying, and wrapping presents, preparing for guests, finding dog sitters, traveling, visiting family, and so on and on and on.

But: as a writer who doesn't get out much, the holiday season presents an awesome opportunity to reconnect with the rest of the world. Maybe no one else out there gets buried in to-do lists, writing and otherwise...but if you are, here are some of the opportunities to find in the upcoming weeks:

  1. Opportunity to listen to kids. REALLY listen and write down exceptional snatches of conversation ("If you could have a light saber, what color would you want?" or the description of John Steinbeck as "demented and depressing.")

  2. Opportunity to study character archetypes. Admit it--can't you give the members of your extended family some interesting labels? Not to mention whatever stereotypical character you might inspire (for instance, the spacey yet endearing mother who still catches snowflakes on her tongue--and can't ever find her car keys.)

  3. Opportunity to collect character mannerisms while traveling. (Whenever I'm in on an airplane, bus, or train, I find myself making lists: the man who keeps cracking his jaw and raising his eyebrows, the boy who draws pictures in the mist on his window, the man riding a motorcycle with a vacuum cleaner strapped to his back. Okay, that last wasn't on an airplane, bus, or train, but it was for real.)

  4. Opportunity to step outside your ordinary setting. (Even if you're not heading to the Caribbean, the concrete details of a place can bring your writing alive. Case in point: Janet Evonovich. Who knew New Jersey could be so fascinating?)

  5. Opportunity to remember why we write at all. Because family, friends, life, and love--those are all the things that come to the forefront (in theory) after the chaos. Those are the things that bring life and purpose to our writing. Occasionally, we just have to get back to them!

:) Cheryl

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