The holidays are upon us and with that comes a vast shrinkage of free time, sleep time, exercise time, and most importantly… writing time.
With all of the shopping, gift wrapping, cookie baking, and caroling, my writing habits always go south during this time of year.
But this year I am determined to keep up the pace, and you should be, too!
To compile this Ultimate Guide, I’ve gathered a few different suggestions from blogs around the internet – seems like I am not the only one with this problem.
Let’s see what they have to say:
“Try writing in short, fifteen minute blocks of time. Also, keep your notebook handy or computer document open, so that you can dive into your project whenever you have a chance.” – Marcia Peterson, editor of WOW! Women on Writing’s blog, The Muffin
Let’s face it. Sitting down and writing for three hours at a time like you do at home probably just isn’t going to happen. But there are more little chunks of free time that you might think. Take inventory of this downtime and use it to write.
“If you want to stay productive with your writing, you need to be creative and adaptable.” – The Writer’s Relief staff at The Huffington Post
We all have our writing habits. Mine is sitting at my desk at home with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), classical music and my colored pens all laid out in a perfect line. This isn’t going to be possible during the holiday season. Many of us will be at a completely different desk in a completely different room in a completely different city. Don’t let the missing aspect of your routine keep you from writing.
“Pretend to sleep in—but instead, work quietly in your guest room for a little while before making your morning appearance.” – Emily Wenstrom, contributor to The Write Practice
So this was particularly genius for me. You hear people say “get up early” all the time, but the second you step foot outside of your bedroom during the holidays, you may get bombarded by dogs, children, you name it. But if you claim to be sleeping in? There’s at least an hour of writing time right there.
“Pay attention and see how people change this Christmas. Then, write about it.” – Joe Bunting, writer/publisher of The Write Practice
So Joe says that the holiday season is a “period of liminality.” In case you don’t know what that means – I didn’t – here you go: Liminality is a transitional period of a rite of passage. It is not normal time. And it’s a time where transformation occurs. Use the holidays to watch how people interact with each other, how they change. You never know when inspiration for your next story may strike.
“When you tell your family that you’ll be available for certain activities, be present.” – Nicole Dieker, freelance writer and contributor to The Write Life
If you’re writing, be present. If you are with your family, be present. There’s no point doing either of those things if your mind is with the other.
“Refuse to feel guilty.” – Colleen M. Story, founder of Writing and Wellness
If you miss your writing goal one day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Same goes for if you have to miss the last nightcap of the evening or the last round of cards with your family to go upstairs and write. Don’t feel guilty. Do what you have to do, and do it well.
And overall, the best way to write through the holidays is to have a plan. What is your writing goal this holiday season? Let me know below!