Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Three Ways Thanksgiving Kills My Mojo

by Elizabeth Otto

Three Ways Thanksgiving Kills My Mojo

I rarely take a day off from writing. I’ve been known to type away at inopportune times, like my daughter’s volleyball game, during my husband’s hernia surgery or grandma’s birthday party. I know that I have to meet a certain word count per day to meet deadlines, so I keep going and going no matter what else is going on that day. Because, I have mojo! Holidays pose a particular challenge in keeping with the word count, Thanksgiving specifically because the sheer amount of food and proximity to so many family members just yanks the writing mojo right out of me. Why?

Food Coma: You know that feeling you get when you’ve been out drinking too much, or have a head cold, and your mind is all throbby and thudding around inside your skull? Well, most authors I know can power through most any reason for the dreaded “brain fog” except when it’s been caused by a food coma. Yes, food comas are a much more serious problem. All that turkey, stuffing and pie goes right into the creative centers of the brain and turns off the lights for a nice, long nap. Unfortunately, food comas can last for a couple days, which means my word count is going nowhere. I go ahead and pop the button on my jeans and wait it out—there is no way to reverse a food coma except to wait—and resist more food. Good luck, right?

Pinterest Withdrawal : There is simply no way to stare at all the hot men on my Pinterest boards with that many people around. No way at all. I mean, there are children around for crying out loud. And I can’t write without my visual inspiration, so again, all my efforts to be productive and ogle man candy are thwarted. Thanks, Thanksgiving!

Guilt: My family loves to tell everyone that I’m an author. Since all the relatives are gathered from far and away for Thanksgiving, it only makes sense to shine that spotlight on me in front of relatives I barely remember and people who try to look interested, but really aren’t, and make me talk about my books (it happens every dang year). Which of course gives me anxiety that I’m still sitting there, sipping wine and mulling over whether or not to stuff down one more slice of pie, instead of writing. Then I spend the rest of the evening feeling guilty over my lack of word count, which only increases the guilt I feel for shoving down one more piece of pie…or two. It’s a vicious circle, people.

So, tomorrow, I’ll be cozied up after the festivities with wine and my kindle. I already know that writing anything tomorrow will be out of the question, so I might as well read, right? How do you plan to spend your after-dinner quiet time?

1 comment:

  1. Stephen King says that in his memoir On Writing: how, to be cute, he always says "I write everyday except for Christmas". But the truth, he reveals, is that he writes Christmas, too. I'm not that consistent but I do write, read, plot, or blog every day. Every. Single. Day. When it's your passion, you can't help it. :)