The holidays are a time for relaxing and taking a break, even Stephen King doesn’t write on Christmas day!
But writers like to make ourselves feel guilty if we aren’t penning down words, even when it’s time for a well-earned break, so here are some tips for maintaining a creative output during the holidays.
Make A To-Do List
Even Santa makes a list at Christmas. You don’t need to check yours twice, but at least have something to look at that’ll keep you on track.
There are a million things to think of and do this time of year, so list writing tasks and non-writing tasks, work out a plan for getting them all achieved, and then tick off each task. It’ll keep you motivated, organized, and get things done. That might sound like a lot for one little list to do, but hey, it’s Christmas, the season of miracles.
Avoid an all-or-nothing approach. Trying to do all writing or all other things usually doesn’t work and will leave you disappointed when you can’t do everything. Balance it out by splitting up tasks and the time you work on them. Write for an hour, shop for an hour, plan for thirty minutes, wrap presents for fifteen, and get a bit of everything done!
Learn To Say No
Even to yourself. If you’re getting too stressed, say no to things that aren’t essential and stick to your to-do list and balancing it with any must-do Xmas tasks.
Stay On Task
While binge-watching Christmas movies and overdosing on candy canes feels like the perfect thing to do instead of writing, resist the urge.
If you want to keep adding pages to your WIP, you need to stay on task and not get distracted. Just get through the one writing session you have mapped out for the day and worry about what you have to do tomorrow, next week, or on Christmas eve later.
Focus on your daily goal, one day at a time, and stay on task.
Have An Advent Adventure
If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you know I love suggesting rewards. At times, it seems like it’s the only advice I give, but that’s because it’s so effective!
In terms of rewards, Christmas is one of the best times for it, because not only are there so many yummy treats around, but there’s also advent calenders.
Using an advent calendar as your reward means 25 consecutive days of treats for hitting your writing goals!
Step one is to get yourself a good advent calendar. This year I’ve seen a cheese one, a tea one, the usual chocolate ones, and of course, there are even calendars that include wine!
Step two, work on your writing, crack open an advent window, and enjoy your reward! It’s festive and fun!
And there you have some ideas for maintaining your creativity during one of the busiest times of the year. Thank you to Jean over at Jean Lee’s World for suggesting this topic. I hope it lives up to what you were expecting and helps everyone to keep their creativity going while enjoying the celebration and fun of the holiday season!
— K.M. Allan