How to find time to write over the holidays

21 Dec

For some, the holidays provide a great opportunity for some good writing. Nothing like being home, wrapped up in front of a nice, crackling fire…away from work and the cares of the world. Then again, the kids and spouse/partner are home, the in-laws are in for a visit and the kitchen is bustling with activity as the turkey bakes in the oven. How, amongst the hustle and bustle will you ever find time to write?

Wonder no more my friend, because Brandi-Ann Uyemura from The Writer Magazine has shared the trick!

Prioritize. If you want to write during the holidays but think you don’t have the time, remember: You do. You just need to plan for it. “Think about writing as a good habit, like daily exercise, brushing teeth,” says Rochelle Melander, a writing coach and author of Write-A-Thon. Prioritize your time by scheduling writing sessions in your calendar and start committing to that schedule now.

Set deadlines. Some writers need deadlines to get things done. If you don’t have a project deadline, create your own and ask a buddy to hold you accountable.

Delegate. Melander suggests setting boundaries and delegating tasks to others. This year bring the side dishes and offer to help clean up after the Thanksgiving party. This will eliminate hours of prep time and save you extra minutes to write.

Disconnect. From the Internet, that is. Consider unplugging for a while and you’ll find oodles of time you didn’t know you had.

Look for hidden moments. “Over the years, I have discovered that there are hidden moments during the holiday season when no one is expecting me to be anywhere or do anything,” Melander says. You may find time waiting in line at the grocery store or bank or in between buying holiday gifts. Plan to have a notebook with you for those unexpected precious moments. Or follow Melander’s lead by writing in the early morning before the kids are up.

Photo by Sheri Inman

It requires some extra effort to write during the holidays, but a shift in perspective might help. Instead of perceiving your writing as an additional task to check off your to-do list, think of it as a rare opportunity to pen that perfect character, juicy scene, or dynamic drama inspired by your real life. In fact, why not let the winter trimmings, joyful songs, holiday festivities and even your obnoxious relatives become characters in your next writing project?

But what if you still can’t find the time to write? Don’t beat yourself up about it. You may not be able to get to all of your projects this season. “Writers do more than just write,” Melander says. “They also need to develop ideas for new projects.” Sometimes being productive means taking a break. Read that novel you’ve always wanted to get to, watch that holiday play. Seeking activities that tickle your senses and experiencing the magic you felt as a kid will do wonders for your writing.

I’ve found that engaging in a bit of winter whimsy lifts the doldrums of daily writing. I’ve never regretted it, and my writing has yet to take a hit from my simply being and enjoying life. Try it yourself and see if it doesn’t lift your spirits, inspire a breakthrough, and energize you so that come next year you’ll be refreshed and ready to write.

– Hoping Santa brings me something good this year  –  Evin Wilkins (www.mrgurupublishing)

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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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