Twas the night before Christmas, and in a small Irish town
A writer stared at her laptop and frowned,
At the pages and pages she’d crafted with care,
In the hope that a bestseller soon would be hers.
While her children were nestled all snug in their beds
Visions of book signings danced in her head,
She deleted this word and tinkered with that
Watched, all the while, by her big, fat cat.
When, there, on page sixty, she saw a great error
She panicked and flustered and gasped with sheer terror.
An email, to her editor, she wrote in a rush,
‘We can’t send the book out! It should have stayed in the slush.’
‘The plot is appalling, the pace is too slow,
Even the part where they dash through the snow.
It now seems, to my wondering eyes, very clear,
That I have a terrible case of pre-publication fear.’
‘Fear not,’ came the reply from her editor, so quick,
‘It’s perfectly normal to feel physically sick,
‘Your book is a marvel, it would be absurd,
To stop all those people from reading your words.’
‘Feel happy, feel merry, feel joyous and cheery,
Feel confident, feel positive, don’t be worried or teary.
You’re bound to top the charts, spring, summer and fall,
Now tap away, tap away, tap away all.’
As dry leaves that before a wild hurricane fly,
She slammed shut her laptop and started to cry,
Such was her terrible nagging self-doubt,
But then … someone was calling … a whisper, a shout.
And then, in a twinkling, she heard on the stair,
Two little voices in the cold morning air.
‘Wake up, Mummy! It’s Christmas. Can we see if he’s been?’
She opened her eyes. It had all been a dream.
She put on her slippers and crept down the stairs,
She too, was keen to see if Santa had been there.
The children, they gasped with utter delight,
Never before had they seen such a sight.
Great piles of presents were under the tree,
‘One for you and one for me’.
She sat and she watched them, her heart all a-flutter
It melted to see the two happy little brothers.
And under the tree was the best gift of all,
Nothing too fancy, just perfect and small.
An empty notebook, to fill with her thoughts,
Of stories of the past and things of that sort.
And she thought of the notebook she’d filled once before
With ideas for a book … but she hadn’t been sure,
And yet, there it now sat, right there on the shelf,
The book, she had written, all by herself.
So, if you are a writer, this Christmas time,
Ignore the doubts and bad dreams – just drink some more wine.
And remember how wonderful it is, just to write.
Merry Christmas to all – and to all, a good night.