I posted this as a comment on the post 'Tis the Season on Of Looking at a Blackbird:
Rosellen Brown told me that she was once at a dinner party where she was sitting next to a neurosurgeon. When the neurosurgeon found out that she was a novelist, he said that he was considering taking a sabbatical in order to write a novel. She said something like, "That's interesting. I've been considering taking a year off from writing in order to do neurosurgery."
As she commented, once in a while you say the right thing at the right time.