Writing During the Holidays
That may be, but some of us still need to write. For some of us, that means a story that just won’t leave us be. For others, like myself, it is because this is how we make our livings. I have deadlines – a book due December 3rd, an outline due the 15th, and a first chapter due just after New Year’s.
Here are five tips for working writing into your holiday schedule.
- Give yourself permission. That first one is a big deal. Acknowledge that it is okay for you to write even during the holidays. Whether you have a deadline or an itch, writing is what you do. If you identify as a writer, it is okay and even desirable for you to take the time to write. You’ll be more sane and your family will love you for that.
- Acknowledge what you can and cannot do with other people around. When I am hip deep in teens, I can proof on paper and reformat on screen. I cannot write a first draft of a chapter or do a sweeping rewrite. I can blog even with my husband home.
- Write. Giving yourself permission to write isn’t enough. You actually need to sit down and write. If no one is home, do the writing on the “cannot do with other people around” list. If they are home, switch to the other list, but write.
- Be the enforcer. Especially if this is a new habit, you may have to convince those around you. My son and husband often need gentle reminders that “just having a discussion” in my office door is forbidden. No, not discouraged. Forbidden. Your family can make do without you for 30 minutes.
- Go out and have some holiday fun. When you have done whatever writing you set out to do, go experience the holidays. Steps 1 – 4 don’t mean that I’m telling you that all of your time should be spent writing. We need to experience life so that we have something to write. Now that you’ve gotten the hang of giving yourself permission to write, you must also give yourself permission to experience whatever is going on around you.
Write and celebrate. You can do both. It’s a matter of balance.
Sue Bradford Edwards teaches our course, Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next section starts on January 5th.