5 Ways to Keep Writing on Track During the Holidays




As 2015 draws to an end, many of us writerly types are primping our spiffy new 2016 planners and stuffing them full of writing projects. We’re also wrapping up our latest WIPs, gluing on bows and dusting them with glitter for 2016 submissions.

Yet with the holidays lurking over our shoulders and sucking away time like an evil black hole of doom, December is also the time when projects tend to be waylaid (by enemies even – sorry Baldur’s Gate moment, blame Black Isle!). So here’s a few quick tips to keep projects rolling forward.

1. Take a tip from Santa and wake up early to deliver those precious words onto the page. It’s amazing how much writing can be done when no one is up, not even a mouse, and there’s a vat of coffee on your desk.

2. Get all sneaky, like Santa’s elves, and whisk away for an hour or two in the evening and tinker with your work.

3. Wear the Rudolf red. This is trick my aunt taught me and it works wonders when the kids are home, particularly on Christmas break. Since it’s difficult for non-writers to realize when a writer is working in their head (which, honestly does look a bit like zoning out), it helps to give them a visual heads up. Like a hat that you wear only when you’re working that can serve as a “Do Not Disturb” sign. It doesn’t have to be red, mine is sea blue, but you get the idea.

4. Set realistic expectations. If your normal per day word count is 3k, it might be difficult to meet that goal when there’s also a flurry of cookie baking bad-assery going on. Stress stifles the muse, so be gentle on yourself. Give yourself over to cookie madness and if you hit 3k, that’s fantastic! You rock! If you hit 1k, you still rock! Yes, even if the keyboard is covered in flour.

5. Simplify. It’s okay to snag some store bought goodies for the kids’ Christmas parties. Really, it is. It’s okay to delegate more or decline invitations to fun, yet could be done another time, get- togethers. Plus, rescheduling those hang outs for next month will give you fun things to do when the holidays are over and you’re lamenting the bare spot where the tree once glowed…

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