A Writer’s Christmas Letter

file9711279077720Every year when the Christmas cards start coming in I get two or three of the traditional photocopied family Christmas letters. I know that people make a lot of negative comments about these letters, but frankly I like enjoy them. Many times I haven’t really corresponded too much during the year with the people who send me these letters and I love seeing the pictures of their kids and reading their stories. I also like reading between the lines in passages like Jimmy finally paid off the lawyer and has returned to school or Bob went on vacation to the Bahamas and I went somewhere else. Uh huh.
I begin to wonder if writers were to send each other yearly Christmas letters what kinds of things would they write?
Would they write about the months of writer’s block? Would they write about their adventures in the publishing world or the characters they created? Would they include pictures of the settings they had rolling around in their brains? Would they enclosed the top ten crime stories that they cut out of the newspaper and tell of their plans for them in their next story?
Take a moment and write a Christmas letter about your year in writing.
Just like a traditional letter, write about your family-which would be your characters. If you write a series, what happened to your protagonist this year? Just where is the villain or villains that you protagonist had done away with? You may even include a picture of bad as they do their time behind bars.  Did you lose any characters this year?  Write a little memorial.  Are there any new additions?  Share your joy.
Write about the places you visited. Did you spend your year researching places all over the world or like me did spend all your time in a tiny town that has an incredibly high murder rate.
Write about the mood of your work. Were your stories suspenseful? Were they romantic? Happy and upbeat or dark? Are vampires around every corner or happy-go-lucky English-teachers-turned-amatuer-sleuths? (Help, I think my dash key is stuck :—–)
Write about your favorite scene. Describe what happened and why you loved writing it. My favorite scene this year had to be my wedding reception in Buzzkill. I had so much fun with the characters and the weather. Our stories really are our children. We create them, we straighten them out and then we start all over again.
Finally end your letter with your wishes and goals for the next year. Do you plan to finish a novel in the next year? Write it down. Once you’ve finished your letter, file it away on your computer and open it next December. You’ll have fun reading it and then…write another one.

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