This becomes even more difficult during the holidays. We still have to do all of our normal activities, but there are now also holiday tasks (shopping, gift wrapping, socials, concerts, and even more cooking and cleaning).
Yet, you can still work writing into your schedule once you understand the 5 ways that writing in December is like baking Christmas cookies.
- Planning Required. You can’t accomplish either one of these tasks if you don’t plan for them. For Christmas cookies, this means making a grocery list and shopping. In terms of writing, it means deciding ahead of time what to write and planning accordingly. This might mean simply knowing what is going to happen next in your story. Have what you need to write and then. . .
- Make Time. Your plan won’t do any good if you don’t make time. “I’ll do it when I get a minute” isn’t good enough. Actually block out a period of time on your schedule, but be realistic. Making a batch of cookies from dough to baking may take more time than you have in one evening just as your morning activities may not allow you to write an entire chapter. You will have to . . .
- Break It into Do-able Steps. For cookie baking, this might mean making the dough one night and baking another. For your writing, how you do this will depend on what you are writing but it could be as simple as dedicating yourself to writing two pages of prose or three lines of poetry each time you work. Add these small chunks together day after day and you will have accomplished something worthwhile.
- Try Something New. Sometimes we need to try something new and now is the perfect time. If you have roughed out your novel, you may not be able to rewrite amid the hustle and bustle. Now might be a good time to try your hand at the craft activities you’ve been wanting to write or the no bake peanut butter bar recipe hanging on your frig.
- Plan to Share. Your family is more likely to help if they get to sample both cookies and your writing. When I read my son pages of my middle grade novel, he wanted to know what happened next. I wouldn’t tell him. He had to read the finished pages. This meant that if I ended at a cliff hanger he actually wanted me to go back to my writing.
Writing in December isn’t easy, but it is doable if you go at it with a plan.
Author Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writer's Journey.