Earlier this month we discussed how you can build a consistent writing habit based on your NaNoWriMo experience. We focused on creating a writing schedule that works around your normal one. But what about when your regular schedule disappears? In all the craziness of the holiday season, how do you find time to write?
Here are a few ideas:
Bring a notebook everywhere - Carry a notebook everywhere you go and write a few sentences at a time, stealing every moment you can. If notebooks are too old-fashioned for you, try using an app like Evernote on your phone.
Use your mornings wisely - You might have a different social event for every night you have off, but your mornings are your own. Even if you aren't a morning person, you can use the early hours to squeeze out a handful of words.
Take advantage of travel time - If you'll be spending hours on the road as a passenger, that's a golden opportunity to write. (Let your driver know this is your only opportunity to do something important to you so they don't think you're just being rude.)
Write while you cook - Are you bringing something to the holiday dinner? Bring a laptop or notebook into the kitchen and sneak in a few paragraphs while you wait for the meal to cook. Need to watch the pot? Take notes on your phone.
Set smaller goals - The winter holidays are already so hectic they don't qualify as a real vacation for many people. Don't make it harder on yourself by expecting a high output. A simple goal like 100 words per day is enough to keep your head in the game.
Don't beat yourself up for missing days - In our last article we discussed why you shouldn't feel pressured to write every single day, and this is even more true during the holiday season. Besides, guilt isn't productive—it wastes more time than the day you've already lost.
Consider taking the holidays off - Let's face it: the winter holidays are more important to some of us than to others. They also mean very different things to people hosting the parties than to the guests. If you're hosting your family's holiday dinner or if you simply want to revel in the holiday season, it's okay to take a break from writing. Just make sure you resume your regular writing schedule in January.
As the year comes to a close, take some time to celebrate your writing wins of 2018. Did you write a novel? Build a regular writing habit? Research how you can build your author platform? Maybe even edit or publish a book? All of these things deserve to be celebrated. And next year you can build on each and every one of your writing successes.
Dianna Gunn is the author of YA fantasy novella “Keeper of the Dawn” and the Write Plan content writer. She also blogs about creativity, life and books at The Dabbler.
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