Monday, December 19, 2011

Writing During the Holiday Madness

 Holidays are fun, full of good cheer, family warmth and hopefully rest. They can also be crazy, stressful, full of little annoyances and things to still be done. For some it's the time where they can find a few hours of solid uninterrupted writing time. For others (probably the majority) it's the time where writing just cannot fit into the equation, where there's too many other priorities to be taken care of and where "uninterrupted" is no longer in our vocabulary.
So how can we still fit in that precious writing time and feel like we can stay sane?

 Here are a few tips.

1) If you have any kind of vacation time from your day job (if you do have a day job), rejoice in the opportunity that you have and make sure that your family and friends know that you need time to write. You can even present it as having to work, if the demands get too much on your personal time. Who's going to blame you for having to do some work? Once you get those precious hours, make sure you put them to good use. Even if those hours are few, you can accomplish enough with a little prioritizing and by making sure there are no unnecessary distractions, such as hanging out on Twitter and answering emails.

2) If you're doing any sort of travel during the holiday season, you can either bring a laptop with you, or have a simple notepad and pen to keep you company while you're waiting for that plane or while you're on a bus. Your hubby can read a book or play games if they're waiting with you. If you  have kids traveling with you, doing your own stuff may not be as easy. But even if you don't have the opportunity to actually write, keep a notepad with you and jot down ideas about your characters, scenes, etc..

3) While you can tell your family and friends that you have to work, don't think of writing during this time as work in your mind. Think of the time you can sit down and write as a mini-getaway from the stress and demand of the holidays, a mini-retreat. If writing makes you happy and reaching a goal of a certain amount of words on paper brings feelings of satisfaction with it, chances are once you're get back to the holiday world, you'll feel recharged and ready to take on everything else. Writing can be meditative. If you think of it that way, your mind will follow.

4) If you decide to take a break from writing to concentrate fully on the holidays and the demands (and joys) they represent, don't feel guilty about it. Once you made the decision, go with it. Think of it as a way to immerse yourself into the holiday spirit and to recharge your batteries for the next year. But make plans for the year ahead and think about what you want to achieve with your writing. Then dive in once the holidays are over.

Whatever you do for the holidays, may they be full of joy, family, laughter and good times. And perhaps some wonderful writing time!


  1. These are wonderful tips, thank you! I like to keep a notebook with me and write whenever I get a free moment. I've learned to write primarily that way and it's amazing how much I get done!

  2. Heather, I'm starting to do that more and more myself - carrying a notebook and a pen everywhere with me. It's a great way to remember all the ideas you come up with while running around.

  3. I adore every one of these tips. I haven't decided if I'll be taking a writing break for the holidays or diving into the next project, but either way I'll be doing a lot of beta reading which is a joy in itself. :D HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

  4. I'm sure these tips will be useful for all you writing types :D Can't wait for the holidays.


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