I've always thought of the week between Christmas and New Year's as a freebie week. We take a day to get back home after Christmas, then another half day at least to open mail, do laundry, grocery shop, and spring the pets from the "spa." Toss in some college basketball, maybe a bowl game or a Christmas movie and bang, it's New Year's Eve and you've hardly done any real work. But, judging from the lack of email accumulating in your in-box, nobody else seems to be doing much either. Anything you actually get done is extra credit, right? Right? Please say yes...
This is also the week of the year where I start thinking about all the things I love to do when I'm not bogged down in midsemester hell. I start dreaming of how I must begin anew. I call this The Intervention. This is not the same as a New Year's resolution, though it may on the surface appear to be similar.The Intervention actually happens three times a year - in late December/early January, then again in May when the semester is over, and in August before school begins again. The process involves much angst and gnashing of teeth, wondering where things went so horribly wrong with my ability to keep up a suitable writing schedule. After passing through several stages of grief, during which I lament the words that never got written, the unfinished projects not completed, the creative visions never visualized, I emerge recommitted to once again finding THE PERFECT SCHEDULE which will result in the satisfaction of my wildest creative dreams.
I'm not just talking about writing for my job, by the way, but all of my various creative projects. Despite the fact that work for pay increasingly dominates my life to the exclusion of much else, I remain committed to the idea that there is more I want and need to do. So, in addition to thinking carefully about how I will make time to write during any given semester's hectic schedule, I also draw upon and revisit other sources to spur my creativity. Yes, I'll finally admit it here: I'm addicted to books about writing. This blog's title, in fact, is clear evidence of my addiction. I buy these books by the bucketful. In fact, I bought a new one just last week up at Common Good Books in St. Paul - the new book by Julia Cameron, even though it's exactly, criminally the same as every single book about creativity that she has ever written. She makes a living because of addicts like me. What's worse, I often read these books about writing in lieu of actually writing.
All of which is why I laughed out loud at this 43folders post about "National Read Endless Superficial Advice About Writing Month." In addition to offering the most embarrassingly accurate description of my addiction I've ever seen, it also offers the "Top 1 Habit of Amazing Writers":
Of course, one could look on the bright side and argue that I just did.