Some years back, my sister and I used to meet up once a week for a day of shopping, with breakfast and lunch sandwiched in-between. Those “Terrific Tuesdays” were great.
We maintained the habit over the course of several years. However, our lives got busy with jobs, families, and masters’ programs, so we changed our ritual to once a month. It wasn’t long until it became two or three times a year and then, finally, we abandoned any hope of maintaining a regular schedule.
I know you can relate.
I should have hung onto those days like gold. We should have found a way…
So, just how does that relate to writing?
Well, let’s say that I have my writing calendar all filled out, appropriating 4-6 hours of writing to each day of the week.
But, then the holidays come along and I’m torn between writing and meeting a friend for coffee and catching up on old times. Or, on a trip to visit Grandma for Christmas, I feel compelled to sneak up to the guest room and hammer out the plot for my next book while my kids remain downstairs helping to decorate the tree.
The truth is, there’s just no other way to create memories unless you’ve been there in the first place.
In the long run, whether our book comes out in March or May will not really matter. But, our interactions with others—our relationships—will grow, or they will die on the vine, depending on how much we cultivate them.
Take time to nurture yourself and others without guilt over meeting your writing goals.
I know there are very talented authors who will tell you to write everyday no matter what. I used to believe that. And, it led to a lot of heartache.
This year, I’m giving myself permission to take part in the celebration of the season, to laugh, to foster relationships, to turn off my computer and shut my office door.
No, this year I won’t be writing during the week of Christmas.
Instead, I will be making memories that will last a lifetime.