As I write this, we’re at the beginning of December and on a fast track into the holiday season. Which means there is just one month left in the year. What are you going to do with it? Will you start to wind down and get ready for the holiday season or will you remain focused and push forwards even more with your writing?
Imagine if you could finish the year with another 3,000, 6,000 or even 21,000 words written: 3,000 words is just 100 words a day, and 21,000 words is just 700 words a day.
More importantly, 3,000 words is 1-2 chapters and 21,000 words is a third of an average novel! You could have a third of your novel or memoir written before 1 January even if you are starting from scratch.
And imagine what could happen if you are already two-thirds of the way through – a finished first draft by the New Year!
I love the holidays but they can be a challenging time for writers. Finding the time and space to write even 100 words a day amidst the rush and chaos of holiday parties and family gatherings is not easy.
The fear of missing out on great holiday times can also lead to procrastination with your writing. You might have every intention to get some words on the page but an impromptu outing comes up, or someone suggests you all play your favourite board game or the conversation that just started has you buzzing. And writing is forgotten.
Procrastination is a type of choice – we choose to do something that feels more important in the moment (such as spending time with family) than something we scheduled (such as getting some writing done). Now don’t get me wrong, those impromptu friends and family moments are priceless and I personally wouldn’t miss them for the world. And getting the writing done is important too, so I’ve put together some tips to help you make the most of your holiday writing time.
No matter what the time of year, eliminating distractions is crucial and even more so during the holidays. I know this is easier said than done when you’re surrounded by people, noise, and activity, so get your family and friends on board. Start the conversation now, explain why writing is important to you, and negotiate some uninterrupted time to write. If you, or they, are worried you might miss something important, set a timer and agree to rejoin the festivities when it goes off.
Another strategy is to snatch time when you can. If a window of 15 to 20 minutes suddenly opens up, use it. Have all your writing tools to hand so you can grab these precious moments of time when they appear.
And, while I said eliminating distractions is key, sometimes writing at the kitchen table while holiday preparations go on around you can work extremely well. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, sometimes the noisiest and busiest places provide excellent writing spaces, especially when the hubbub around you becomes white noise.
Whatever you do, don’t let the holiday season stifle your writing. Grab the time you can and write! There really is no better time than now.
If you don’t want to wake up in the New Year wondering how the holidays got in the way of your writing, even with all your best intentions, then please reach out. I am available for an obligation-free Zoom strategy call. We’ll discuss your unique challenges and determine your next steps so you can fully utilise the holiday season. If you’d like to know more about my writing philosophy, you can watch this free webinar.