Saturday, December 13, 2008

Balancing the Christmas Spirit with Life

I'm the type of writer who doesn't write well when I'm overwhelmed. And at two weeks before Christmas, I'm ususally quite overwhelmed and this year is no different. Yet, the holdiays are when I have extra time off work and can sneak in those extra "want to" projects that I don't get to all year long. So I keep trying sneak in getting this and that done. Anyone else guilty of using the holidays to catch up on other other things?

When I'm overwhelmed I find myself just going through the motions and not getting into the holiday spirit as I have in the past. I've caught myself doing that this week and as much as I've tried to slow down and be still, I haven't quite caught that moment of "Ah, now it's beginning to feel like Christmas!"

I'm ususally the one playing Christmas music in October and starting my Christmas shopping by November, or at least creating my shopping list. Normally, my Christmas cards would already be out. Last night I made the decision that I'm not going to get them out this year. Something has to give. I guess I can let one tradition go in my fight to calm my world and try to get into the Christmas Spirit.

In some of the recent feedback I've received on my writing, I need to layer in more emotion. I think both Missy and my husband told me this. My hubby made me rewrite my synopsis. He sounded like a coach. "There's more in you that this. I've seen it. I've read it. And I know you can do better." Of course, he very lovingly told me this, so I had to listen. And he liked my revised version much better. But it made me think about my writing from a broader perspective.

My real world of "going through the motions" is slipping into my writing. My characters are doing things, experiencing things and talking, but there is no substance of feeling. Just like me. We are our writing. It comes from what is being poured out from within us. If we authors are not in balance in our real lives, our writing isn't likely to be in balance either, or at least, not without a lot of revising. That's what I love about writing--at least it can be revised. We get second, third and fourth chances to make it better. Real life comes and goes. We have no second chances to experience some moments.

My prayer for you and me this Season is that we will slow down, enjoy the true meaning of Christmas--the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ--and experience the Christmas Spirit in a new way that will awaken us and light up our lives just as Jesus intended His birth to be.

What scriptures come to mind that make you feel Christmas?


  1. Jenn,
    I'm with you on the prayer. I don't like being overwhelmed either. It's no good for anybody.

  2. Jenn, I so agree. I find that some days my writing is just characters going through motions. Thank goodness, like you said, we can fix that.

    But we don't want to miss opportunities with family and friends. I can vouch for how quickly the kids are grown and gone!

    As for scripture that makes me feel Christmas, it would have to be the whole story of Jesus' birth from Luke Chapter 2.

  3. I so know what you mean about leaving out the emotion. And I can always tell when I do. It just doesn't read right. Doesn't feel right. Sigh. Some of my recent work has been that way, so I'm on hiatus for the holidays. I determined that I was going to savor every aspect of Christmas this year. But come Dec. 29 when all the family's gone and we're at the farm for New Year's, there's gonna be some serious writing gettin' done.

  4. I'm still feeling overwhelmed. I'm so thankful our agency voted to give us the week of Christmas off. I really need it!