Does writing take a holiday?

Being the e-book manager here at DGLM, I am in possession of a wealth of copyedited and polished manuscripts, ready to be uploaded and unleashed onto the various e-book stores on the internet. Therefore, I only see one side of that manuscript, the finished article. What I don’t get to see is the process that writers go through to hand me their completed work.

I have always been fascinated with the variety of routines that writers impose in order to let the creativity flow. With Thanksgiving approaching rapidly – too rapidly for those in charge of turkey duties – I’m wondering if any writers out there will be modifying their schedule to accommodate visiting family, trips to visit family, or to fit in a post-Thanksgiving nap. After reading this piece on writers’ routines, I tried to imagine how the writers mentioned in the article would or wouldn’t break their schedule.

Susan Sontag certainly adopted a pretty stringent itinerary, so would she have invited over guests other than Roger Straus? Hemingway strived to wake at first light when working on novels, but surely Papa would have afforded himself a wee bit of a lie-in over the holidays? And with the increased level of consumption that marks the holiday season these days, would Ben Franklin be able to remain so frugal?

Do you cut yourself some slack in your writing habits over the holidays? Or will you find yourself a quiet corner on Thursday to continue writing?

2 Responses to Does writing take a holiday?

  1. Joelle says:

    The holidays don’t usually affect my writing schedule because I don’t really celebrate any of them. Being immigrants to Canada, we don’t have family here for our new Thanksgiving (October) and I didn’t even realize it was the American one this week until yesterday! And we don’t celebrate Christmas. New Year’s is our special day, so I take a couple of days off around then.

    But the way it does affect me is in regards to business. With publishing shutting down, I have to keep that in mind and not fire off too many emails to the people celebrating. And also, you have to change your expectations on how long is reasonable to expect replies. In that way, I am aware of the holidays and try not to do any business stuff during them.

    In spite of my Mon-Fri self designed writing schedule, which I generally stick to, I do take long breaks in the summer…sometimes the whole summer, so I’m definitely not as rigid as some, like Stephen King!

  2. D.C. DaCosta says:

    It’s important to remember that people like Ben Franklin didn’t cook their own meals or do their own laundry or housework, and probably didn’t put in a 9-5 workday at a trade (at least, after their initial successes). Those of us not yet making a living at writing must perforce squeeze it in among other tasks that just can’t wait. (Believe me, I’ve tried the other way around — leaving the kid waiting for an hour after swim practice while you finish another chapter doesn’t go down too well on your parenting report card.)

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