Every now and then, the muse needs to take a rest. Over the holidays is as good a time as any, especially with the frenzy of out-of-town visitors, parties, and gift exchanges. Rather than figuring what your characters are going to do next, think about what shows to attend, which exhibits to check out, and what friends to call. Come January, it’ll be time to get down to business again, but for the next few weeks, try to relax and have fun. New experiences will add to the creative well so that when 2010 rolls around, you’ll be ready to sit down at the computer for some intense work. Periodically it pays to step back, enjoy life, and push aside the worry about what to write next. In other words, try not to feel guilty that you’re away from the office. Sometimes ideas have to stew in the subconscious before they’re ready to bubble forth, and too much concentration can cloud the mixture. It’s also a good time for reorganizing your office, reviewing your new idea files, and catching up on writing-related articles. So relax and savor the season. It’s only once a year.