Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

What’s your favorite holiday story? Have you written anything for the holidays?

What are you reading and writing for the holidays? Do you have a favorite Christmas story?

I suppose my all-time favorites for Christmas are Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the old standby, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore, Dr. Zeuss’s wonderful “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” and absolutely O. Henry’s wonderful story, “Gift of the Magi.” (By the way, you can find copies of most of these stories online. Just try Googling the titles.)

When I read such warm, happy, and well-written stuff, I sometimes think nothing more need ever be written for Christmas or the various winter holidays surrounding this time of the year. I mean, it’s all been said and said so well, what’s left?

But of course that’s not true. The wonderful thing about writing is that you get to restate so-called “universal truths” in your own words, in your own way, for your very own world. I recall in some class I had about creative writing that experts/critics/whoever have decreed that there are no new story lines or plots for writers. Apparently, they were all created back in ancient storyteller days, and all we do is modify the basic dozen or so. (Some of you with more specific knowledge of this, feel free to chime in an enlighten us.)

Big deal. So there is nothing original left to write, right? But of course, again, that’s not true. I don’t care whether you’re just starting out or have been writing for a lifetime, you and I both know that each of us has something wonderful and unique we and only we can do with words. That’s our joy and privilege for the holidays: We can share and shape words like no one else and offer them up for others to enjoy.

So get busy this week and write something that’ll make us all proud.
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