Hi SEers. John here with you again. As you can see by the headline, I want to spend a few minutes with you discussing what we as writers expect of ourselves during the Holidays. Before we get into the discussion, let’s take this little quiz on our holiday writing behavior to ground ourselves on the subject. There is no right or wrong answer, but you should try to be honest with yourself. Okay, to the questions
1 Do you feel you must sneak off to do any writing?
2 Has a family member pointed out to you that it is the holidays?
3 Have you found yourself wishing the holidays were over so you could get back to writing?
4 Has your significant other threatened to take away your computer power cord or has already done it?
5 Do you think about the twelve days of Christmas in terms of word count?
6 Does the song Silent Night make you think of your WIP?
7 Do you hope your excuse of staying up to eat the cookies left for Santa will cover the fact that you can get in another 500 words.
8 Do you offer to go out in a snowstorm to fetch egg nog to use the convenience store hot spot to send some work to your critique group.
9 Does the crinkle of gift wrap remind you of an unfinished plot point in your Antarctic thriller?
10 Does “I just need to finish this paragraph” plea turn into three fast-paced hours of writing?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to set realistic writing goals for the holidays to maintain your sanity.
So, what should we do when the Holidays and our writing desires seem to conflict? My suggestions are as follows.
- Permit yourself to be in the moment for the holidays. Sure, there are times to write, and times to celebrate. Keep them both separate. Don’t try to fit one into the other. You will end up cheating yourself in the end.
Do not think a holiday hiatus will become a permanent vacation. We are writers, and that’s what we do. Taking time off to enjoy the family will serve to refresh the brain. Unless you are under a deadline gun that will reap hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties, time off will work.
Plan to write less than expected. If you plan that eventuality, then when that situation occurs, you won’t be disappointed and then try and take action to make it up.
Tell the family that you are going to pay attention to them and then do it. If you have a plan, you should share it. Once everyone knows what you are doing, you will be surprised how easy it will be to deliver on everyone’s expectations.
Pat yourself on the back for being able to control the forces of both writing and holiday conflicts. You’ve earned it.
I hope these tips help, and I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season and prosperous New Year (Oh yeah, come on, New Year )
Do you have any tips for the holidays and writing.?