I was re-reading Michelle’s post on Christmas stories from a couple of years ago and looking at her rules for a good Christmas story since I was trying to get myself in the mood to write one. Michelle’s rules make sense to me. I totally agree: It should snow, someone should change, the main body of the action should take place on Christmas Eve and it should all round up by the time the bells ring on Christmas morning.
It sounds doable when you break it down like that. But I still don’t feel ready to write a Christmas story just yet. Apparently it takes more than just writing down or (in my case) reading the rules.
I wish I had a handle on just what it is that gets me in the writing mood. Sometimes it is just as simple as having something I want to say. Sometimes, it’s a feeling or a moment I want to capture forever and somehow, despite the old bromide about a picture being worth a thousand words, pictures aren’t doing it for me.
I know writers who play music to get in the mood. In this case, I suppose it’s obvious, it should probably be Christmas music. I know writers who have to have a quiet place. I figured out long ago though that my particular world contains no quiet places. If it did, something would be wrong. And I would panic. Not a good writing state.
All of which brings me to the realization once again, that for me, all this is the icing on the cake. Music or none, disruptions or not, complete, getting in the mood boils down to one simple thing. I write when I have to. When this blog is due, I write. When my critique partners are expecting something, I write. When I have set a goal to do something, and somehow made that goal known, I write.
I’ve said that before in this space. What I never realized before is the corollary. I have become pretty darn cautious about making any statements about writing, knowing I would obligated to follow through. All of which brings me back to getting in the mood.
Hmm, just another of those, just-when-I-thought-I-had-a-handle-on-it moments. So now it appears I have to know what trigger I have to have to commit to writing. It’s all so complicated, isn’t it?