I’m down to the final rush; 5 days until Christmas. Gifts have been purchased and wrapped, cards sent, and now it’s just the parties and family gatherings to attend.

However, because I’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas, I’ve had to ignore my writing: I haven’t had time to get AS THE CROW FLIES uploaded to KDP, haven’t had time to watch the video lessons on how to use Photoshop, haven’t followed up on why I haven’t heard from an agent, haven’t posted on Twitter or LinkedIn or had time to read Tweets or LinkedIn messages, and haven’t had time to write the next scene in my third Crow book.

In one way I find this very frustrating. (Whenever I go a long time without writing, I start feeling edgy, uneasy, and frustrated.) What I have to keep reminding myself is at this time of the year family and friends take priority, that writing and all that goes along with writing (one could probably say the same about any job) must come second for a while. We can’t take the people we love for granted. There are no guarantees they’ll be around tomorrow. Simply listen to the news or read the headlines. There are car accidents, random shootings, fires, and horrific incidents like the massacre at Newtown.

I could tell my son I don’t have time to visit or my daughter that I won’t be over to celebrate her husband’s birthday because I have a scene to write. I could tell my husband to leave me alone (preferably by leaving the house) so I could read Tweets or watch Photoshop videos, and I could turn down social invitations from friends because I need to do research. But how would I feel if something happened to my son, my daughter, her husband, or my husband? What would I have of value if I lose contact with all my friends because I ignored them? I don’t picture success as having a multitude of books published, but no family with which to celebrate each milestone or friends to share the news.

Writing can be addictive, especially when a story in your head is burning to get out. Nevertheless, I’ve found I have to prioritize each part of my life: writing, family, friends, and housework. Sometimes, such as now, family will come first, sometimes writing (especially if I’m on a deadline), or friends. (Rarely does housework come first, so you’d better call before you drop by.)

Today I visited with my son and with friends, tomorrow, if all goes as planned, will be a writing day…so please stay away.

But before I close, I do want to wish all who celebrate Christmas a very special day. I know it will be special for me. I’ll be surrounded by family.

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10 Responses to Priorities

  1. So close to the heart, Maris…and right on target. I grit my teeth each day when I don’t meet my writing goals (over the last several months, they’ve been worn to the gum line) but when I turn off the light at night, I feel that all is okay in my little world. The world turns as it does, on its own energy course, a seamless route, but if we miss the special moments with those we love, they are gone forever. Blessings to all on this family journey and a special embrace to those who write and have family to love. No one ever said it would be easy…..but then again, no one said it would be this difficult! Merry to all!

    • Maris says:

      Sometimes we allow the pressures of life to become too demanding. It is good to step back and remember what is truly important. Have a wonderful Christmas, Wil.

  2. Enid says:

    No one ever said ANYTHING about writing, when I was a kid. I am so glad that you and Katie (Green) and even a couple of more friends have taken up the challange. It is such a pleasure for the rest of us, to meet your characters, hear about the problems, and know that the (semi) happy ending has been planned.

    Take much time to be with your family. Know that even your far away friends check in on you and I feel that I am in touch with you and yours. Happy Christmas to all of you. Just remember to get California on your “visit” list.. E

    • Maris says:

      I treasurer my far-away friends and miss seeing each and everyone of you. Enid, I think often of the two days I spent with you, the glass of wine we shared while watching the sun set and the chance to sit in with your writing group. Thanks for the time you gave me.

  3. I know the pull and the restraint balance demands.

    Rohn Federbush

  4. Paula says:

    Having had a close brush with death, I have taken into account what it means to prioritize even when it’s not a holiday season. I didn’t do that before. I may not do it perfectly, but I sure don’t take my family for granted anymore.
    Thanks for another great reminder.

    • Maris says:

      I’m so glad it was just a brush with death and that you’re still with us. We never know when we or a loved one might be taken. It is important to put our varied desires and obligations in perspective.

  5. Words to ponder, that’s for sure. Lately, it seems everything else in my life overshadows my writing. But, I wouldn’t trade the family time for any number of best sellers. As for the housework, what’s that?

    Merry Christmas, Maris and all.

  6. Very timely message, Maris. I’m starting to look for ways to simplify my life so I can squeeze in the necessities. Holidays are almost a nightmare, and they shouldn’t be. Thanks for the reminder.