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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