3 Ways to Sneak in Writing During the Holidays

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Whoever thought NaNoWriMo should be in the heart of the holiday season must have been out of their mind. With that said, here we are, in the heart of NaNoWriMo, and online is buzzing with discussions about Thanksgiving. Instead of researching recipes, many of us writers are frantically trying to write our way out of a plot ditch we've fallen into. While gift lists and Christmas plans are arranged, we're trying to remember where we put that outline we wrote out on a piece of notebook paper that we've now lost.

If the idea of writing in the midst of Turkey sounds awful, I have for you a few ways to sneak in some writing time in the midst of the holiday season.

1) Tell everyone you are going "shopping."

Hey, shopping takes time. I mean, it isn't just going once to the mall for an hour. It can often mean several stores, several trips, and many hours of long contemplation. At least, that can be your excuse. So while looking for scented candles to purchase for your holiday party, take an hour break at a local coffee shop and squeeze in some writing time. And if anyone asks, you no longer like to shop online.

2) Take your time wrapping presents.

One of my favorite things to do is wrap presents. However, just like shopping, it can also take a lot of time. I mean taping, cutting, wrapping the paper, and everything else takes time and consideration. Never mind having to do your own bows and ribbon! So, in the midst of wrapping paper, especially since you are likely doing this in private time, squeeze in some extra minutes working on that piece of writing.

3) Let someone else drive. 

If you tend to be the driver, make sure someone else drives during this time of year. Or take advantage of a rideshare app or opt for carpool. Why? Well, take the laptop or your notebook, and make sure you sneak in writing time while on the road!

How do you sneak in writing time during this time of year?


Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--Occasionally I say I'm going on an errand and instead, I go to a local coffeeshop, sip on tea and write.

Or (more often), I fall asleep on the couch at 7:30 at night, wake up at 1 in the morning and have to do SOMETHING for a bit, before I can go back to sleep... so I write.

Sometimes claiming a cold is coming on (so you can bow out of shopping trip) can result in some alone time/writing time.

Lyn Jensen said...

Bad advice! Yeah, shopping takes time, so the time is needed to shop, not write. Gift wrapping takes time, so that time is for gift wrapping, and if you stop to write, that eats into your gift-wrapping time. Your time to write needs to be separate.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Nicole ~ There's a NaNoWriMo badge you can award yourself called "Incognito" - if you've written under your desk, in a bathroom stall, or on a horse. I think shopping would count too. ;)

I write on my phone w/ my Google Docs app--in the bathroom, in the car, at the grocery store, restaurants, while I'm out taking a walk (inspiration always seems to strike, and I stop walking and sit to write. Don't want another broken ankle!)--and I think it's important to take advantage of every opportunity. I'm always afraid that if I don't write it down, I won't remember it again. So if shopping is what inspires your muse, then go for it! I kind of hate shopping, except online, so I don't think anyone would believe me if I used it as an excuse to write. ;)

The other thing you can do is guard your writing time and have a discussion about it with your family. Since I can only write creatively on my laptop in bed (or on my phone), I told my husband he has to vacate the bedroom for an hour every morning. I can't write with him next to me. He was upset the first time I kicked him out, but he came around!

Hope your NaNo is going well. :)

Renee Roberson said...

I too agree that this is the most horrible time of year to hold NaNoWriMo. I still remember one Thanksgiving break, when we had company staying with us, where I opted out of watching a movie with them because I had to catch up on my word count. I felt terrible! I guess my solution has been not to participate this year, which makes me sad. Basically I think it comes down to hard choices during NaNo. Gifts may have to be a little more simple, and there may be more early mornings and late nights thrown in there to make up for it.

Nicole Pyles said...

@Sioux - Ha, I like the idea of taking on the "I have a cold" excuse for some much needed writing time. I'll have to remember that!

@Lyn - hope you find your way to write this season!

@Angela - hahahaha I love those incognito ideas! And I've had so many moments where I have forgotten a plot point even if I had JUST been thinking about it. So stopping to write those ideas down is so important for momentum. Haha and I'm glad your husband got used to being vacated :) It's so important to nurture that writing time!

@Renee - oh I would have felt guilty too! I think that's why I do a halfsy NaNo, which I've done terribly at this year lol. Definitely lots of sleeplessness nights during this time of year are likely when you are making up word count.

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