Overcoming the Holiday Haze

Thursday, December 26, 2019
Daughter with longest break ever
Listen up, writers! Whether you're busy with the day after Christmas sales or returning your gifts or in the middle of Hanukkah or celebrating Kwanzaa, and you whipped out your phone to read the latest WOW! blog post, I'm here to tell you--get thee self out of the holiday haze and get back into your writing routine. Don't wait a week until it's January 1, 2020--that's not necessary. You have all the tools and everything you need to get back on the wagon...today.

So, it's December 26, and let's say you write 1000 words a day. Then you'll have 1000 words every day from December 26 to December 31, and that's a total of 6 days of writing or 6000 words. That's 6000 words more than you would have if you waited to start January 1 or even January 2--which many writers do. Or this year, since it appears our darling children are never going back to school with the longest holiday break ever known to man (slight exaggeration only--my daughter left her school at 11:30 am on 12/20 and doesn't return until 8:30 am on 1/7/2020!), some writers are planning to start their healthy lifestyles and new routines with diets, exercise, and writing time on January 6, when most kids are back in school (except my daughter!).

If you start today, you will be so far ahead of those January 6th people that you won't even be able to see them in your rear view mirror.

I've always wondered what was so magical about starting a new year. Why do we make all these promises to do all these things just because January is lucky enough to start a brand new, fresh calendar? I decided to do things a bit differently this year. I started my 1000-plus-words-a-day writing habit on November 15. I did the Whole30 healthy eating plan from November 17 to December 16 (and I'm still eating Whole30-ish except for the irresistible Christmas cookies!). Some people thought I was crazy for not waiting for 2020--especially with the Whole30 challenge--but I was ready to make some changes in November. So, I'm starting the year eight pounds lighter, 50,000+ words on my manuscripts, and momentum to carry me through what I hope is one of my most successful years yet!

You can do it, too--and still eat the Christmas cookies. When you get home from wherever you are today or if you're already home while reading this, then walk over to your desk, turn on your computer, open the program you use to write, and type 500 words. I challenge you. Wait, no--I double dog dare you. Now you have to.

Get out of the holiday haze early this year. Get started before the others, and rock in the new year, ready to meet your goals whatever those may be!

Margo's next Writing a Novel with a Writing Coach class starts on January 3, 2020, (new syllabus!) and her new class, Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction: A Study and Workshop, starts on January 21. Register for both classes here. Find out more about Margo and her books here. 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--I love your challenge, and I really needed the nudge to begin the "new year" early.

1000 words a day between now and January 1? I'm going to try.

And congratulations on all you've accomplished recently. 2020 is going to be a spectacular year for you.

Margo Dill said...

I'm so glad you are taking the challenge. Think of how "ahead" you'll feel by January 1!

Happy New Year!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Margo ~ Congratulations on all you've accomplished, and I love that you're sticking to your 1k-a-day writing routine! :) I stopped working on my memoir for the past couple weeks, but instead, I've been writing flash CNF and submitting it! Pieces around 500 - 800 words a day. While it's not 1k, they are complete works, so I'm counting it. ;) I submitted three flash pieces to a contest, and just submitted to six publications and have two more in my sights. I'm getting back to my memoir in New Year, but I think it's important to do both--submit creative writing to literary journals and work on a book--and writing short is so satisfying because you can finish something. Books are a slog, and I know if I want my memoir to be good I'll be working on it for a few years to figure out the insight and takeaways, so writing short is where I'm going to be able to reap the rewards from my work. I don't know if you're submitting to lit journals, but you should give it a shot. I dare you! :)

Congrats on sticking to Whole30! Funny, I mentioned eating too many cookies in my post as well. I'm on a constant diet, but cookies are my weakness. :)

I have no doubt you'll have a super successful year. Cheers to your success!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Good for you, Margo! I tend to do "small writing" around this time of year as I work on "big thinking."

Which basically means I think all over the house, not just in the shower. :-)

Best to you in 2020!

Renee Roberson said...

Oh, man. Thanks for the butt kicking, Margo! I've been taking it easy since pretty much last Friday after a huge deadline but I had already decided I have to get back to work tomorrow. I have some article and photography I need to assign for the magazine I work for, but now I'm adding to my list to get at least three podcast episode scripts written by the time Jan. 1 rolls around. I can do this! You are an inspiration with all these words you are cranking out.

Speaking of cookies . . . We have these Trader Joe's dark chocolate shortbread cookies that only come out once a year and I have been shoveling those in my mouth like nobody's business. I'm ready for those to be out of here so they will quit calling my name from the pantry!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--Trader Joe's has cocoa meringues that have to be low calorie because they're only egg whites, cocoa and sugar, right?

I'm not sure if you've ever had them, but they satisfy the need for sweet (sometimes).

Sorry, Margo, for taking this post back to the cookies---but you started it. ;)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Thanks for the nudge to get back to writing. Just what I needed to hear. And who needs cookies when there is fudge in the house...

Nicole Pyles said...

I absolutely need to do this! I have been doing okay this past month actually! I rewrote a flash piece and got some critiques back. Now I have what... 3 or 4 days left to get my word count up.

I've been cutting back on sugar but I made up for it by having pizza last night. ;)

Margo Dill said...

Ang: Best of luck with all those short submissions. I haven't written anything short but blog posts in so long!

Cathy: Here's hoping the big thinking leads to big ideas in 2020!

Renee: Best of luck with those podcast scripts. I can't wait to hear your podcast. Also, those once a year cookies are the hardest to resist. And Sioux, we can always discuss cookies!

Sue: eat a piece of fudge, write a book...

Nicole: Yes, I also had pizza for the first time in like 40 days over the holidays. :)

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