Saturday, December 16, 2017

Finding Time to Write During the Holidays

Visiting family and friends, decorating, shopping for gifts, wrapping the gifts, baking and preparing dinner invitations … you wish the day would have 48 hours.  While Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations seem to find their happiness overdrive this time of year and your schedule is packed – how can you free up time to write? Here are some tips how writing can be included without compromising on holiday joy.

Select The Type of Writing – Or Just Blog
Most likely you will not have a whole day – or even half a day of uninterrupted writing time. So plan rather:

  • smaller writing tasks
  • writing outlines
  • research work for your books settings
  • or edit single chapters

How about writing a couple of blogs ahead for January? This way you don’t need to worry about content for your web presence and you can even prepare posts and tweets for your Social Media presence with content snippets from your blogs.  Once this is out of your way you can concentrate in January on your current book.
Plan Your Days / Week Ahead
If there are deadlines looming just after the holidays, make a plan which ones of your regular chores can be postponed or delegated? Think who has more time than you: Your spouse? Your teenage kids? Your parents or parents in law? Maybe they will be happy to bake the cookies, wrap the gifts for you or pick up the younger children from hockey training or school.
Or ask other parents to pool the children’s pickups.  Maybe you can even get a day off from your day job to be alone at home to sit on your computer and be productive until everyone comes home.

Your Best Hours to Write?
Are you a Morning Bird? Skip your TV time in order to go to bed early and just get up an hour earlier.  While the house is still quiet, have your favored coffee and type away… Vice versa, as a night owl, stop all your tasks an hour or two earlier in the afternoon or evening and find a serene spot to work on your next novel.  Don’t be afraid to cancel cable — here’s how to get all the programs you love to watch – after the holidays. 

Carry Always Your iPad or a Paper NotePad with You
While waiting for your kids or at a doctors office, or waiting at the airport and even during your lunch hour, you can take notes that you later hammer into your laptop.  I once almost missed my airplane because I was so engrossed in writing an article on my notepad – but in the end, it was one of my best articles.  Should you have to drive long-distance to visit family, bring a dictation program (dictaphone) with headsets or an app for your cell phone so you can continue your book “hands-free”.  “Downtime” adds up too, use it to work on your writing!

Why not "escape" once in a while on very early mornings (many open at 5am or 6am already) to a coffee shop, put on your earplugs or headset and write?  Keep your writing more or less on track amidst all the turkey gobbling, Christmas cookie noshing and mulled wine drinking, and you won’t feel guilty after the holidays.  Just be a bit more flexible, creative and adaptable. Let’s the holidays begin!



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