Monday, November 30, 2009

Redefining vacation

There's a story from Stephen King (it's in his memoir, On Writing, which I have read and taught, and think is fantastic) where he talks about an interview in which he was asked if he wrote every day of the year. He told the interviewer no, that he didn't write on his birthday or on Christmas. And then after, he felt bad, because he did actually write on those days as well.

I've been thinking about that a lot today, as the first round of "how was your Thanksgiving?" phone calls and emails hit yesterday evening and this morning. I had a lovely Thanksgiving. I went to the home of a dear friend's parents, where I usually spend the holidays that I don't fly home for. I ate my weight in delicious food, saw people who make me happy, and felt loved. I wrote before I went, and after I came home. This past holiday weekend, I sent out two short stories, polished my query letter and synopsis, and put together packets for the first round of agents that I'm querying so I could send them out this morning. I transcribed pages from notebook to computer, and got some good new writing done. From the reactions that I got when I told people this, it is clear that what I did this weekend is not most people's idea of a vacation.

Part of that is just my own neurosis. I'm not good at doing nothing for extended periods of time, and right now, anything over 24 hours that doesn't have writing in feels like an extended period of time. But the other thing is, although writing is work, it's a sort of work that I love. And so I look forward to typing *ENDS* more than to what the calendar says.

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