This time of year can be challenging for writers, with so much getting in the way of the work at hand – but it doesn't have to mean you stall completely on your project. In fact, because it can be so hard to get back into a project once you've been away from it for a week or more, it's best to keep going – even if it's in shorter burst of activity.
Here are a few tips to help keep your writing on track during the holiday season (and this way, maybe your New Year's Resolutions list won't have to be quite as long):
- DO say no to the Internet. Sometimes I think back wistfully to the days when we had no wireless at home and only one computer (not mine) with Internet access. I was very productive as a writer back then. There's really nothing you need to know that can't wait until your writing session is over. Just say no. Log out for a while.
- DO set a daily goal. The holidays are busy, but this doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) write at all. Set small goals – a twenty-minute session in the morning, a few minutes of journaling before bed – and do your best. Routine can be a great thing: Sometimes it's better to have a little continuity than longer, random writing sessions, which are easier to skip entirely.
- DO take a lot of notes. The holidays can provide great material, especially if we are among family. Always keep a notebook handy. Don't stop thinking like a writer, even if you're not getting as much computer time.
- DO reward yourself for meeting your daily goal. (Peppermint mochas, spiked egg nog, long naps. Whatever it takes.)
- DON'T be unrealistic about your daily goals, or any other writing goals. Writing a chapter a day while on vacation with the family is not realistic. Aiming to spend ten minutes every day working on a scene is better.
And finally, DO remember why you're writing. What are your goals, and why? Turn this into an affirmation if this helps – and use it to help you keep showing up on the page.
Causes Midge Raymond Supports
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Mercy Corps, Doctors without Borders, Coffee Kids, Northwest Harvest, Treehouse for Kids, Angeline's Day Shelter for...