What Would a Writers’ Office Christmas Party Be Like?

This week I’m attempting to double-job, by single-jobbing in two places. It’s not my usual style, but it’s not unheard of either.

Yesterday I put out a post over on my guest blog on the Irish writers’ website writing.ie, but because those unconnected to me on social media don’t see what I’m up to over there, I’m sticking it here as well.

It explains what I’ll be doing this coming Tuesday; supposes what a writers’ office Christmas party would be like, and gets me out of a bind, considering that I’m stuck for time because I have to prepare my person for a formal event, and it can take me 2 days just to get my eyebrows alone ready for polite company (there are at least 2 good reasons I don’t write a beauty blog).

So without further ado, here it is…


The Writers’ Christmas Party

They say writing is a solitary occupation, and they’d be right.

Most of the time, writers talk about the loneliness that full-time writing can bring upon you. Dancing to the beat of your own drum is one thing; sitting with nobody but yourself is another. Especially if you’re fighting with yourself over plot points.

And working in your pyjamas to your own timetable might sound great to anyone who has to deal with Fergal from Accounts first thing on a Monday morning, but when you realise on Thursday that you haven’t had a conversation all week with anyone other than that spam caller who asked you if the real billpayer could come to the phone, you can find yourself suddenly dying to put on some pressed rayon trousers and drive to an industrial estate.

The Writers' Christmas Party

Of course, if you’re a full-time writer, one major positive is that you’re spared the festive hell of the work Christmas Party, where you’re also forced to socialise with people you never even chose to spend your days with, and yet you somehow ended up in a situation where some dude you kind of hate a little knows what you have for breakfast but your best friend or spouse doesn’t, and some part of your brain will NEVER get over this.

That’s not to say that writers shouldn’t have their own Christmas party: a night of fun and frolics when writers and book lovers can come together to socialise, have conversations in person with real people, and do their best not to blurt out “but you look so much older than I imagined you!”

The Christmas Collection

Luckily enough, the An Post Irish Book Awards just happen to take place in Dublin at the end of November each year, and so have become a de facto Christmas party for the scribblers of Ireland.

The Writers' Christmas Party

It’s a night when writers come together to celebrate, drink and be merry (or to compete, win/lose and get leery, depending on which genre you’re into – I mean, it’s a bunch of writers. There has to be a story in it somewhere, and if there isn’t, we’re going to make one up.)

And as even further luck would have it, the writing.ie team is going too. Those of us lucky enough to write for the website get to sit at the naughty table, which as all Irish people know is always the best craic at a wedding.

On a more formal basis, writing.ie is also sponsor of the award for best short story of the year, but that’s a far more serious subject than I’m willing to deal with in this blog, so I will leave all the heavy lifting there to the folk other people actually listen to (i.e. everyone else on this site).

I myself will also be getting all frocked up to ogle the superstars who are nominated for the  various awards, as I both scoff and quaff simultaneously – and I can tell you now that it’s not a pretty sight.

The Writers' Christmas Party


The Inevitable ‘What If?’ Part Of The Post

Part of me wonders, though, what it would be like if the annual book awards event really WAS an office Christmas party.

Imagine the writer who’s been pining lustily for that particular agent or publisher all year, only to throw themselves upon them at midnight in a desperate booze-fuelled bout of courage, only to either score or fail spectacularly, depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist (and whether you believe the stories about authors literally stumbling upon their agents).

Imagine the ultra-reserved author, who has been quietly watching people from the sidelines all night, only to eventually upset the entire table and quite a few stomachs by declaring they’ve actually netted a major deal which is going to make them the biggest cheese in the room the following year.

Or imagine the wallflower, renowned for doing and saying nothing at all every other day of the week, but who finally breaks and tells the head honcho that he’s always hated her AND her books, and was in fact the guy behind the most famous anonymous review burn ever to grace the internet.

One way or another, I’ll do my best to gather my gossip next Tuesday night at the An Post Irish Book Awards. Of course, if I find any, I’ll never tell: but you can thank me later – because as any good writer knows, truth never sells as well as fiction.

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  23 comments for “What Would a Writers’ Office Christmas Party Be Like?

  1. November 25, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Im not sure i work out doors so not sure but ive heard some are good..and some are wild..and some are dead…mmm… i have to say love the name Tara, simple because my daughter is name Tara..great name…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. November 25, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Sorry Tara i have to ask.. are Irsh..my surname is Mcgrath..just asked Lol.


    • November 25, 2018 at 11:57 am

      No worries, lardy 60 and thank you for your comments – I’ll answer anything posted on the blog! But what’s your question?


  3. November 25, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Sorry im a bit thick some times ive seen that you are of Irsh Decent..My maden name is Mcgrath my father is Irish and my mother is Italian..my father for his 65th birthday all the kids 4 of us and mum pitched in for dad to do 1 thing on his bucket list, that was to tour Ireland, Wales, Scotland, & England on his push bike…fitness wasent a problem he was a Australian champion Cyclist..6 months he rode every were with a small back pack and at 65.. his main passion was to tour as much of Ireland as he could..Dad was hitting the papers in all countries, they were amazed this 65 year old was riding every were..from Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Great story, glad you have such good memories and thanks for visiting all the way from Oz! To answer your question, yes I’m Irish – born, bred, still living here.


  4. November 25, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Maybe you should wear a wire—then, even if you become drunk and disorderly, a record will be preserved 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 25, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Don’t look now, Marina… but I’ve got us covered. I’ve been wearing one on a permanent basis since 2016 😳😂


  5. November 25, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    I would love to be there to pick up the pieces. Especially when the ultra-reserved author spills the beans. So much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 25, 2018 at 11:41 pm

      I’m not sure about picking up the pieces, Bryan, but I’d certainly be videoing the whole thing 😉


  6. November 26, 2018 at 1:00 am

    I’ve actually been to a few writers Christmas parties. Unfortunately, no one embarrassed themselves, so there was little to write about in the aftermath. I just had a bit of an epiphany, Tara… speaking for myself, writers are actually sort of boring. 🙂 I hope your party is a hoot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 26, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Why else would we live in our imaginations, Diana?! But you’re right. We just make up the myths about ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. November 26, 2018 at 5:14 am

    I wouldn’t know how to behave at a writers’ party. I seem to spend my public writer time telling someone else I don’t write poetry. Or memoir. While they tell me I absolutely must. Adding alcohol and cookies to that would not be a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. November 28, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    The things writers watch when in the throes of a particularly malevolent writers block. well I have been watching documentaries on Great Britain . Over 93% of my DNA call these islands home and so I have been inundated with Irish legends and Scottish kilts( I quite liked those)and stinky water and how bogs came to be . So, I find myself in need of a bloody good bottle of whisky and if anyone has an extra handy, a warm man to go with it, Keep your party, I’d rather stay up here !

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 28, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Sounds good to me, pancakelady! Hope you get what you want for Christmas 😀


  9. December 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Hey, I don’t think you did your eyebrows at all before we met! What gives?! I’m thinking of crashing next year’s Post Book Awards just to see them in their pristine condition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 11, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Well, it all depends on the fashion next year. What if Kim Kardashian goes bushy? What if Groucho Marx turns vogue? I can’t promise anything but hey, we all need a goal, so knock yourself out 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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