All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Here Come the Holidays

I did a double-take when I checked the calendar today. Seriously - it's the 18th. Of December! I think someone should've informed me about this earlier, because this was not supposed to happen so quickly. One day I'm out riding my bicycle, enjoying the endless Midwestern summer, and then *BAM!* December 18th. And, of course, with it comes all the holiday things, including all the holiday promises I make but rarely keep, all the holiday weight I put on but rarely lose, and all of the parties I go to, events I attend, and things & stuff in general that often take me away from things that I want to do, like write. So this year, I decided to (kind of) fix this.

Well, first things first. I have nothing wrong with any of the holidays this season. Be it Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Tet, or any holiday between now and the end of January, I am all for them. I enjoy the spirit of them and the celebration that ensues, and I always try to do something on New Year's Eve (though my friends are oft reluctant to stay up that late). I just think that as a writer, I should find a way to incorporate writing habits and practices into my routines. So, on that note...

The attached tweet made me think about a very important part of being a writer, which is that the best writers do not exist in isolation. They are part of a continuous give-and-take with other people at different stages of their journey. We all can learn from one another, and hopefully, we all pay it forward by offering our advice to one another. Sometimes we do this deliberately, other times people just pick up little habits by example. I, of course, am a very deliberate person - just in case you didn't figure that out from my five years maintaining a writing blog - but there is more than that. A part of helping people become better writers isn't just talking about what you do and how people can do what you do. It's participating in their journey as well as yours.

Probably the thing I enjoy the most about discussing writing with other people is not the teaching part, but the motivating part. When another writer takes a risk and makes a leap toward growth, I love pushing them toward that step and helping them find the value in the risks they take. Even if the experiment is a catastrophic failure, I help them fail upward, toward a better product. This is part of what Gaiman talked about when he discussed helping each other. Helping is not just teaching, but supporting and guiding people in a positive manner. And this is something that any of us can do. Even if we feel like we're not the best person to help, we can show people their own strengths and help them build themselves into better writers. And if we learn something from the process, well, so be it.

This is something I plan on doing throughout the holidays - reminding people what makes them good and important. Whether it's about their writing or just about them in general, when we bring people forward it comes at no expense to our own growth. In fact, we might grow a little as well. Remember that machine that broke while measuring the Grinch's heart growing? Something like that.

So for now, I suggest spreading the holiday spirit by helping motivate those around you, particularly the writers. And, of course, if you want to get them something, I recommend the latest anthology from the New Lenox Writers' Group, A World of Change, now available on Amazon. Anthologies are always fun, and I have a few stories in there as well. Happy Holidays!         

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