Yes, it is that time of year once again. That crazy and wonderful time of year. Christmas. Oh, the shopping and the cooking. The time spent with friends. The less anticipated time spent with a boss at the holiday work party. The wrapping. More shopping. The decorating. The baking. The joy. The guilt. The love. The meltdowns.
It’s enough to make anyone certifiable. Which doesn’t bode well for writers as we already have voices in our heads.
It’s also hard as h . . . the holidays to keep on track with writing. Life just upped pretty much everything in a 30 day whirlwind of chaos. Personally, I love the holidays. But I struggle to get everything done. Including writing.
So I’ve got a plan.
Writing through the chaos in 3 easy – or somewhat easy – steps:
1. Make a writing log: Grab a piece of lined paper (or use excel if you’re more tech savvy), create a couple of columns. In the first column write the date. I TRY to write 5 days a week and keep the weekends open for family, so my column has five dates listed and then two open spaces before the next week begins (in case I don’t get my writing done and need time on the weekends). The next column should be wider – this is where I keep track of how many words, pages, etc. . . that I wrote for the day. I keep the column wider so I can also add little bits of praise or encouragement. All I can say is it helps me. The log is a great visual. It really helps keep me on track.
2. Keep a sharp eye out for time gaps: as unbelievable as it may sound, there are and will be periods of time in the coming days where you have spaces of time. In between the shopping and the wrapping and the baking there will be chunks of free time. Waiting for the brownies to bake. Waiting for a store to open. Waiting in line at the post office. Keep your pen and paper – or ipad or smartphone – with you and take advantage of those tiny gaps of time. They add up.
3. Give yourself a break: Unless you are under deadline, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make your word count. These are the holidays after all. Peace, love and fa-la-la. Time to enjoy family and friends and celebrate. It’s a special time of year. Enjoy it.
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for surviving the holidays?