Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas discipline for writers

’Tis the season again. I love Christmas. Sometimes I think I love it too much. I love the mince pies and the sausage rolls and the crispy bacon curling at the side of the Christmas roast. I love the boxes of chocolates lying in brazen temptation on every side table and the tub of Turkish delight that I’d never buy myself but that appears in my stocking without fail on Christmas morning, drowning in icing sugar. 

Discipline? You can put that with the scrunched up wrapping paper and bin it.

Okay, so discipline goes out of the window when it comes to food. If only it stopped there; but it doesn’t. The Christmas holidays always deteriorate into a lazy festival of slowing about on the couch with a glass at your elbow and the telly on. Worst of all, creative discipline sinks under the weight of universal sloth. There is a risk that as a writer you may not write.

That’s certainly the case for me. I’m normally highly disciplined and extremely productive, even if I do say so myself; but somehow the sugar (all right, the wine) has a soporific effect. There has to be an answer.

Temptation! (Image in the public domain)
I think I have it. This year I’m toying with the idea of what I call a literary offset scheme. A body has to eat, of course, and it’s okay to eat a little more at Christmas. But a lot more? Three hazelnut whirls from that open tin of Roses? Of course I don’t really need them — but I want them. And I can have them. But it’ll cost me.

A glass of wine and a sausage roll? Let’s call that 300 calories (ahem). And I won’t stop at one because I never do, so let’s double up. Reader, if I want that seasonal treat, I’m going to have to write 600 words to match my 600 calories. Who’s with me?

Oh look…over 300 words in this post. Now, how many festive treats can I get with that…?

10 comments:

  1. Love it! I'm with you. Although I fear that may mean I have to do an awful lot of words.

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    1. Or employ a very flexible definition of what constitutes a treat!

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  2. Just enjoyed a hot chocolate with a generous slug of Baileys - well it is the season. Now I'm off to do a word-count workout. Wonderful idea!

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  3. Oh, yummy! It's home-made sausage rolls tonight. But that's just normal food, isn't it? ;)

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  4. Pay off time, words for calories. But with a houseful of people I don;t beat myself up about not writing over the festive season. For some reason January welcomes me with open arms and lots of writing ideas.....and it'll soon be here!

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    1. Sensible approach. But we have a quiet Christmas so my only excuse is utter laziness!

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  5. Word count workouts - yay! Great idea. But that means getting to my desk ... hmmm.

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  6. What a great picture you paint of my kind of Christmas! I'll be joining you in the over-indulgence, Jennifer, though maybe not quite as much as I used to.

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