Before my knees gave out, I ran on a regular basis at a certain time of day. If I skipped my run, for the rest of the day I walked around having a nagging feeling that something was missing in life.
Same thing with writing. I have to write every day at a certain time or I get very antsy. When something or someone causes a change in my program, irritation sets in.
Now when the holidays arrive one is faced with all sorts of disruptions. Visitors, family, relatives arrive and demand attention—right when you’ve had a great breakthrough in that manuscript. Sure you need a break from the routine now and then to regroup and reboot, but aggravation still sets in.
Then there’s the situation when you go on an extended trip to celebrate the holidays. Frustration begins simmering under the surface. Should I take my computer, or notebook, or my rewrites? What will everyone think of me when I barge in with all my paraphernalia then look for a quiet place to work?
Now if you try to explain all this to a non-writer invariably you’ll be accused of selfishness, then thrown an incredulous look, or worse hear the expression, “Oh, you writers.”
Yes, there are times when situations during the holidays inspire a story, perhaps a comedy or a murder. However, does it become a great catalyst for the next story? Usually not for me, but then again there was that time when we traveled to New York City for Christmas and . . .