This time of year, there are so many things vying for attention. Presents to be wrapped, family duties calling, the lure of holiday ritual.

Each one is important. Each one has its place. Still, unless I make a commitment to my writing, it will be lost in the December hubbub, shunted aside and left for me to rush through later, since I have a revision due in New York early in January.

Right now, however, I have a more immediate commitment to myself, to actually get some words onto the paper. Since I'm so distracted now, however, I'm not the best boss of me, so I've made a commitment forcing more immediate accountability. I cannot face my critique group tomorrow evening without at least six new pages in hand. While my buddies probably won't horsewhip me if I fall down in my effort, they will recognize my explanations as the excuses they are. The threat of letting them down will help keep me from letting myself down with the well-worn rationalization that since I'm too busy to do much, it's okay to do nothing.

This holiday season, what is your commitment to your writing? What is your commitment to yourself? Can you write a sentence, a paragraph, a page? Even the tiniest of steps can break through writing inertia, can start the forward motion that quickly picks up speed.


Saranna DeWylde said…
I will be finishing another book before Christmas. I want to strike while the iron is hot and the muse is happy. So, I'll write until my fingers fall off. :)

Here's hoping you get your muse train in motion and you have a Happy Holiday.
Thanks for this, Colleen. I had hoped that this Christmas break might be just the time I needed to FINISH the revision of my book. Now that I'm realizing how much time I'm going to have to put into planning my next semester classes, I realize that's not going to happen, but that doesn't mean I still can't make progress. Today, for instance, I finally got back to the book after spending the past two weeks finishing out what was a wonderful but exhausting semester with my students. It's the longest time I'd taken off the book in awhile, and it frightened me to spend so much time away. But today I dove back in and stilled the panicky voices.

But I need to sit down with myself and think about what is REALISTIC for me to do, given my other commitments. Sure, I'd love to spend 10 hours a day just writing, but that's probably not going to be possible and really not even advisable. So I need to think about where I am with the book and where I want to be.

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