Christmas is the christian celebration that recalls God’s gift of his Son to mankind. The giving of gifts is intended to remind of this fact though it has got rather lost with all the commercialism. Of course, this looks forward to the Easter season when Jesus fulfilled his commission to provide the means of salvation and redemption for all. Christmas is therefore a time for gratitude.
How is this relevant to an author?
As to be expected, most people will be occupied with the fun side of the season and of course, their family and friends. However, bearing in mind the principle of gratitude and giving it may also be a season for acknowledging other more far flung ‘friends’ and acquaintances.
Most indie authors have little in the way of resources and heavily rely upon websites, blogs and social media for gaining attention and, hopefully, sales of their books. Naturally, they are reliant upon others to respond to, and interact with, them. With the busy lives most lead and the time pressures of trying to keep active online, not to mention in personal and family life, it is very easy to forget to acknowledge these people’s value. Though it would be nice to show appreciation to, and for, these people throughout the year it does not always happen but at least Christmas provides a seasonal opportunity for doing so. Again, bearing in mind time issues, how may such appreciation be readily and concisely expressed?
- E-mail, where the author has direct e-mail contact with a fellow author.
- Social Media messaging, where the person is an ‘online friend’.
- General post in a social media group or community where members support and interact with the author.
- Comment in a fellow author’s or ‘friend’s’ website or blog. Perhaps included with a comment to one of their posts.
Appreciation may be expressed along with wishes for a Merry, Happy, Peaceful, Christmas. This also has the advantage, for those who wish it, of not being too directly personal; some are very private people and shy away from being too personal.
It should be remembered, except for the e-mail option, all such communications will be public. Consequently, care should be exercised. On the other hand, the fact these are publicly viewable, has the advantage of promoting the person being appreciated. Could result in book sales for them and the introduction of new readers to their work. What better way to say thank you.
There are many the writer of this article would like to thank: some for their ‘friendship’ and support; others for providing interesting, informative and entertaining books; a few for reading and reviewing T. R.’s books; others for taking the time to read and comment upon articles within this website and blog. Names and details of some may be located in the ‘Interviews’ category (listed in the column to the left) but not all. It would be unfair to try and list all their names here as it is likely some may be missed but they know who they are. Thank you to all.
With most books, whether fiction or memoir, authors constantly seek to identify the conflict their protagonists encounter. Usually an important element to making the book a page turner.
But, what about real life tensions (conflicts)? Regrettably Christmas often results, or so the writer understands, in family disagreements and arguments. Thankfully, this has not been the writer’s experience. One person known in the past, intentionally and always booked an exotic holiday in a distant country for the holiday period. They openly confessed this was so they could avoid having to spend any time with relatives: they always worked right up to the day of their trip. Very sad. Another used to descend into a depression weeks prior because, though they wanted to spend some time with family, they knew there would be constant arguing and snipping. Apparently one member would sit in a corner armchair and constantly snipe at others across the room and they would, in loud voice, argue back.
Christmas is supposed to be a season of goodwill to all men so why not to family? People are usually only together for the one day or sometimes two but rarely more. Surely, the ethos of the season could be taken on board and a measure of self-discipline exercised.
Perhaps the answer is to try and see what the disagreeable behaviour is really about. Often, if not always, the argument is not about the issue/event to hand but about some underlying emotion; conceived slur; unfair treatment; etc. originating in the past; often from childhood years. These are opportunities for someone to become a peace maker/giver. To sit back and observe and try to identify the cause, or perhaps they already know it, and then to quietly speak to each person to help them, or at least try to help them, to see the realities and to understand how pointless it has all become, as most have with passing time. If an offence still really exists then it may be to get them to apologise or forgive. ‘Goodwill to all men’ is an important ethos at all times but may be further drawn upon during the Christmas season.
(How is this relevant to an author per se? – No cynicism intended but, as they frequently draw upon real life events for plot and charter development, Christmas (both the good and bad of it) may provide additional source material. Hopefully, they will also be one of the peace makers.)