Writing During the Holiday Season
The holiday season is a busy one for almost everyone. We find ourselves inundated with tasks, from buying and wrapping presents to cleaning the house and cooking large meals. Even if we don’t have gatherings to prepare for and presents to take care of, we’re still overwhelmed by the ads on TV and the glaring decorations everywhere. This can all get in the way of our writing. We want to sit down and hammer out 1,000 words or 3,000 words a day or maybe more but we’re stressed by the holidays.
First of all, take a deep breath. You can afford to have a moment, just one moment, to sit or stand and breathe. One deep breath. Now, remember that you’re not alone. Writers all over the world are facing the same sense of being overwhelmed. We all want to accomplish our goals while still making other people in our lives happy.
Take a couple minutes to write down your goals for the holidays. Maybe you want to cook a ham, make stuffing and potatoes, buy a pie, and write 1,000 words. You think, how am I supposed to get all that done in one day? You get completely stressed out; maybe you shut down, maybe you give up. Maybe you have a different unhealthy coping strategy. Stop. You’re going to get through this.
Now, remember your goals. Once you have them written down, prioritize them. What is the most important thing to you right now? Maybe it’s cooking the ham for dinner. Get that done first. While the ham is cooking, get 150 words written. How about your second most important goal? Maybe it’s going out to buy the pie. While you’re waiting for the store manager to get your pie ready, get out your phone and do a little plotting in your notes app. Now you’re home; go get the stuffing made. Once it’s fluffed, go write 300 words. Make the potatoes. Now you’ve got the time to finish those 550 words before your guests show up. Or maybe you do a quick 300 word sprint and you can knock out the last 250 after you’ve cleaned up.
You can fit writing into your day if you break it up into smaller bits; take your big goal and turn it into little goals. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and, when you complete each one, you’ll feel more accomplished.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that you’ve decided to give yourself the holiday off from writing. And that’s perfectly fine too! You’ll get right back into it whenever you decide to. Maybe you’ll have more inspiration from Granny and her war stories or Uncle Aloysius and his tales from the days he worked at the crematorium.
Do what works for you! And happy holidays from me!!