In this season of holidays, it’s particularly difficult for many to set aside writing time. I think this is especially difficult for women.
We’re either traveling out of town, or we’re hosting family and friends in our homes. We’re decorating and baking and cleaning and entertaining. We’re shopping and wrapping presents. Yikes! Where do we fit writing in?
I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to letting the holidays interfere with my writing goals. But there are ways to keep your story in your thoughts so when you do find a few minutes to write, you can get more on paper. Here are a few tips:
1. Give yourself a break on the guilt. Realize that this is a special time of the year and family activities will and should take precedence over work.
2. Keep a note pad and pen or pencil available at all times. Jot down thoughts about your next scene or chapter. What’s your character’s goal? Will he/she achieve it? What will be the repercussions? Can you add more conflict?
3. Adjust your goals. If you normally write 1000 words a day, adjust your holiday week goals to half that or whatever you feel you can realistically hit. That way you don’t beat yourself up for not reaching the more lofty goal, which is self-defeating behavior. Who needs that?
4. If you don’t want to wag your computer along on your travels, write in your notebook. Begin the scene, or write snippets of conversation that come to you. Along with the prep you did in #2, the tidbits will help the scene come together. You’ll be surprised how quickly that chapter or scene will write itself when you sit down at the computer.
5. Think ahead. Where can you carve out fifteen minutes or more to write? This may be one of those times when you have to write at every opportunity. Take advantage of those minutes! Seeing your page count go up is its own reward and will give you a nice sense of accomplishment.
Good luck and happy writing!
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Please check out the other authors participating in this week’s WWoW!
Tammy Dennings Maggy
Excellent advice! I usually have at least one of my notebooks with me so I can jot down any scene that comes to mind. I am always working on more than one project at a time and can’t do one book from start to finish. That’s not the way my brain works. During the holidays, my family and friends are very understanding when I suddenly grab my notebook and start scribbling!
I can SO relate! The world of writing is kinda crazy, but in a good way.
Great tips! I will have to remember this when the kids are home for 3 weeks. 🙂
My kids are grown now, but Hubby is retired and home most of the time, so I have that as an ongoing challenge.
Good thoughts. I’ve been trying to think about what to do since its my first year writing full-time during the holidays. My traveling husband take two weeks off at Christmas and is home – life will be different! I’ll definitely be looking for small snippets of time and readjusting my daily word count expectations!
Paloma, you might want to invest in one of those door hangtags that warns visitors not to interrupt. I’ve been known to hang one out occasionally.