25 December 2008

The purpose of Xmas

...is the opportunity to work uninterrupted!

I'm not mad about Xmas at the best of times. I'm not religious and even if I was, Xmas would be from another religion. I do enjoy exchanging gifts with those I care about but I can quite happily ignore the rest. I reserve particular loathing for the rampant commercialism and the fact that shops seem to start the Xmas sales push earlier every year.

This year is the first in a very long time I have not spent the day with others. I was a bit nervous at first that I might wobble and feel a bit lonely, but in fact I have quite enjoyed the day. I slept late (till 8am!) then got up to brew tea and potter. It was warm so I left the back door open for several hours so my boy could play outside. And then, after coffee and phone calls, as the clock struck noon, I settled down to work.

Yes, work.

No, I've not gone mad.

But I do have a looming deadline. You may recall I signed a book contract some months ago. The manuscript is due on New Year's Eve so this week is my last opportunity to finish the writing, read it back, polish where necessary and correct any typos that have crept in.

Once I had the family phone calls out of the way, I was able to relish the bliss of working with no distractions. No clients ringing. No pop-up telling me I have email. No urge to waste time on Facebook or other forums. There's been a limited amount of activity on Twitter. But the net has been very quiet because everyone's doing Xmas with other people. And I've had pure, uninterrupted time to focus. I got a huge amount of work done before knocking at 5 to cook some dinner then veg out on the sofa to watch TV. I actually felt I'd really earned the right to watch telly after writing 4,000 words.

I almost wish it was Xmas every day. I love it when it's so quiet and I can be so productive. Xmas is a great cure for procrastination. And of course, if it was Xmas every day, I'd get a double helping of EastEnders as a reward for getting so much done.

I'l be working like this for the next 6 days. Then, on New Year's Eve I'll be printing my manuscript off, parcelling it up and popping it in the post to my publisher. My reward? A night out to see in 2009.


Anne Brooke said...

Sounds like a fabulous day - glad you enjoyed it!




Tim Richards said...

The purpose of Xmas is also to provide more work from daily newspapers whose staff are on leave. Though I've had less of that this year, due to the ongoing decline of newspapers and their cutting back on page count.

Tim Richards

Unknown said...

Ha, so very true! When I was London-based, I always used to sign up to work extra shifts at Xmas at several magazines I did subbing for. I've not done it the last few years as I've been living somewhere that has only one paper but I will definitely be looking into doing Xmas shifts next year as I will have moved.