If you were raised in the Christian tradition, there's really only one Christmas story - the tiny baby born in a lowly manger who grows up to be a Savior. But we all have a Christmas story of our own, and while it may never become the stuff of legend it might be important to understanding who you are as a person and as a writer.
My childhood Christmases were idyllic. Although I'm an only child, I had many cousins who lived nearby, so our quiet, family-of-three centered Christmas mornings turned into huge extended family blowouts on Christmas afternoon and evening. The day was chock full of fun, food, presents, and all around excitement.
Years have passed, my cousins are scattered hither and yon and holidays have sometimes been lonely for this only child (who married an only child and raised an only child!) I started dwelling on loss during the holidays, rather than on possibilities. I found myself thinking too much about what used to be, rather than appreciating what was, or looking forward to what could be. As a result, I sometimes dreaded the holiday, found only darkness in it, rather than hope or light.
But our Christmas story changed in a big way this year, thanks to the birth of a baby - our six week old grandson. Hope was born again, so Christmas this year - though not the huge festive event of my childhood - regained a similar sense of excitement and anticipation.
Our writing stories might undergo similar transformations during the course of our lives. We get stuck in cycles, afraid to try new things, afraid to take risks. We lose the joy in putting words on the page, are unable to anticipate the finished product, or plan for the future. Like so many of my Christmases past, writing becomes stale and unproductive, something to dread rather than time to look forward to.
Creative stories can be rewritten, just as Christmas stories can. Like my grandson's birth, new inspiration arrives or new success infuses your writing with hope, making it sparkle and shine again, giving it a renewed sense of purpose.
May you find that for your writing life this season.
What's your Christmas story? Does it impact your writing life in any way?