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Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Blues? Think Green!

Adults usually find themselves overwhelmed by the season’s added obligations, events, and duties, on top of our already overcrowded schedules. When can a serious writer find time to write amid all the chaos?

Aha! I threw you a curve. Serious writers don’t “find” time to write. They write because they must, because writing is their passion, their mission, their vocation, their connection to the world. They make time to write; they don’t find it.

In years past the holiday season overwhelmed me. About five years ago, though, I declared my independence from gifts. All of my friends and family members are old enough that if we want something, we can get it ourselves. If we don’t want something, we don’t want to get it as a gift. With the end of gift giving, I saved days of time and hundreds of dollars, and no one complained; in fact several of my relatives thanked me for relieving them of the chore.

Up until last year, I also wrote a holiday newsletter, complete with photos, and sent it to all my friends, colleagues, and clients. I spent days writing, printing, folding, stuffing, stamping, addressing, and mailing hundreds of holiday newsletters. After a year full of sad and even traumatic losses in 2008, though, I could not think of an upbeat thing to say in my holiday newsletter. I kept postponing the task until I finally said, “I’ll do it next year.”

This year I am seriously thinking of skipping the newsletter process intentionally. No need to postpone writing, printing, folding, stuffing, stamping, and mailing my newsletter. Instead, I give myself permission to stop! I will regain many hours of time, without any guilt. Maybe I’ll point to the environment and say I’m saving trees. Yes, I’ll have a green holiday, and without all those added chores, I will have time to write and still enjoy the holiday.

Consider this fair warning: This may be the only holiday greeting you get from me, and it’s digital, environmentally friendly, time-saving, and yet still heartfelt. Now I’ve got to get back to my writing, because I’m a writer, and I make time to write.

Happy holidays!

By the way, now that Write In Style is officially out of print, it is no longer available directly from Amazon. Several used-book dealers offer used copies of Write In Style, now considered a rare book, for anywhere from $52.99 to $95.94. You can still pay the original $12.95 price, though, if you order one of the few remaining new copies through my Web site, www.zebraeditor.com. I have a limited quantity, so order today!

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