Sunday, November 27, 2011

Squeezing Writing In Between the Holidays

Okay, let’s face it. Finding time to write during the holidays is harder than normal with all the gatherings, parties, shopping, wrapping, mailing, cooking, etc., our already short supply of free stretches is even more constricted.

I’ve got a self-imposed deadline of January 31 for publishing my sequel and I can already see that goal as getting more and more difficult to reach.

I tried something new with fellow writer and tweep J. Landon Cocks – a couple of writing dates on Twitter. We agreed to touch base on Twitter before we started, half-way through and at the end of an hour to see how it had gone for each of us.

And it worked! Very well. Both times, I found that making a commitment to write at a certain time with a friend was much more compelling than any promise I make to myself. So, as I move through the next month and half, I will see if I can talk him into this a few more times.

So, that’s one strategy. Another one I plan on employing is writing in between periods of wrapping presents and writing Christmas cards. For instance, I’ll stop after making two presents absolutely gorgeous for a writing break. Or when I'm struggling to make the past year interesting in my holiday greeting cards, stop to struggle with my novel after three cards. That way, the necessary chores will actually drive my writing.

I’m also going to try to limit my writing during this period to the “feel good” portions of the story, to take advantage of the happy feelings that always come over me at this time of the year. I think it will probably make my writing more evocative in those sections.

That’s all I can think of and I’m hoping for some comments that will offer other suggestions to overcome the challenges of continuing the march towards our dreams.


  1. You're right, Kathy, it's difficult enough to maintain a writing schedule on a good day, let alone in the middle of the holiday season. The 1k hour is actually a NaNoWriMo motivational device that was shared with me by fellow writer and tweep Karen DeLabar and has changed my entire writing approach. My brain seems to like the idea of writing "two 1k hours a day" instead of "write every day." Sounds goofy, but so is my brain.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and I'll be talking with you soon to set up some more 1k hours!


  2. Whatever it takes, Kathy. I agree that a deadline-- self imposed or not-- is a good motivator. I like the one hour, 1K words. My problem is when I'm on a tear time loses all concept.

    The hoildays would be a good time for me to write horror, lol.

  3. Sounds like a fantastic time. I need a buddy myself. I find it encouraging in a sense. Thanks for the post. Tips are great to have to use towards my writing.

  4. Using twitter as a motivational tool is fascinating because usually it distracts me! :) Good luck on your writing this holiday season!

  5. I gave up every day writing after Thanksgiving. It was way too stressful on me physically.