It was almost a month ago to the day that I began cramming in as many festive movies as I could, the days until Christmas ticking away on the advent calendar.
From classics like Home Alone and Christmas Vacation to new favorites like A Christmas House, I watched them all.
But on this Saturday evening, my movie of choice was The Man Who Invented Christmas.
This 2017 film tells the tale of how Charles Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol. Although it may not be 100 percent historically accurate, this film has really taught a lot to this aspiring author.
“Get the name right and, if you’re lucky, the character will appear.”
One thing this movie taught me is to really talk to my characters. I love visiting my characters — whether it’s rereading a bit I’ve written or writing a whole new chapter — but I always visit them. I’ve never allowed my characters to visit me the way Charles does in this movie.
Another thing I learned from this movie is that Charles Dickens self-published A Christmas Carol. As an author who was once self-published, I recently decided major publishing was the route I wanted to go down, but this new fact is making me have second thoughts.
“Come on, let’s get to work.”
“I am working… gathering inspiration!”
Something else I found interesting was the way the character of Charles carried a notepad around everywhere he went to jot down ideas. I did exactly that during my 2019 trip to Dublin (where this movie was filmed), and I’m always making notes on my phone (of course, Charles didn’t have that luxury!)
“Sometimes, I feel your characters matter more to you than your own flesh and blood.”
I’m not someone who obsesses erratically over my writing, but when I’m in the zone, I should not be disturbed. I could relate to Dickens in this way, though my characters do not taunt me, but lift me up.
But the weirdest part of watching this movie that night was finding out that A Christmas Carol was published on December 19, 1843. 177 years ago that day.
What are the odds?
There’s something exciting about doing something on its anniversary, but when it’s unplanned; coincidental; unknown until after the fact… it’s absolutely magical.
If you’re a writer (especially a struggling one like myself at the moment!), I highly suggest giving this movie a watch. I promise it will inspire you.