Monday, December 23, 2013

How to Stay in Writing Mode During the Holidays

During the next two weeks, most of us will be in holiday mode - parties, dinners, family gatherings, etc. We’ll either freely abandon writing thoughts or feel guilty we aren’t writing as much as we’d like during this time. But there are a few things we can do to keep us in writing mode so we don’t start out the new year with the momentum of a slug.

1 - People watch
Watch how others interact. Observe their body language. Note appearances and characteristics you’d like to use in your next book.

2 - Interact with people
Talk to people. (You’ll be talking to them anyway!) Ask them questions. Find out about their pasts, hobbies, and experiences. Use it as research for your next character or story.

3 - Notice settings
Take a good look at Christmas decorations. You may be traveling - an excellent time to observe new surroundings. What details could you use in your manuscript?

4 - Embrace the change of pace
The holidays always disrupt our routine. That’s okay. Let the differences refresh you. Let it be a vacation, even if only in your mind.

5 - Take photos
Most of us take photos over the holidays anyway. Like writing, it’s another form of creativity that can get us going. Take pictures of anything and everything that strikes your fancy - whatever inspires you.

6 - Schedule writing time
Take advantage of short breaks to jot down ideas. Reread part of your manuscript. Go over plot points in your head. But be aware of distractions and don’t get down if you don’t get to write.

The holidays don’t have to slow you down as a writer. Plan ahead and be sure to enjoy life, too.

Congrats to our IWSG Contest winners:

N. America prize package - Terri Rochenski

International prize package - Phil V. Ariel

Remember that the next posting for the IWSG will be on Wednesday, January 8th. We are skipping the first Wednesday since it falls on New Year’s Day.

Happy holidays!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I plan on writing during the Christmas break!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I set a goal to write fiction every day in December - so far, so good! But not all of it will turn into anything, like a short story. It's more about flexing that creativity muscle. :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Thanks for making me feel less guilty about not writing as much during the holidays. :)

Great suggestions for story ideas.

Happy holidays.


Pat Hatt said...

With two weeks off I'll sure have plenty of time to write

Unknown said...

Nice tips. I also carry around a pad and pen incase I get a good idea. I can jot it down and look at it later on. After all as an artist, you never know where the inspiration will come from.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hey, Diane,

Good tips. It's important to get out and experience as much as we can. It makes our writing that much richer.

Happy Holidays!

Elsie Amata said...

Fantastic ideas. I'm hopeful I find time to write...but somehow, I doubt it. said...

These are really helpful suggestions. Life feels so different this time of year - and it gives us loads of writing fodder if we take it all in for that purpose.

Happy Holidays.

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks Diane for the post! Very helpful as I'm writing like a Mad Man through the holidays.

Best wishes to you and yours and have a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Michelle Wallace said...

Kill two birds with one stone. Have lotsa fun while remaining in "writerly mode".

Jen said...

Hello, I'm new to this community and am looking forward to becoming a part of it. Love the black cat photo! Great suggestions for ways to wind down the year, too. Thank you, and happy new year!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I hope some of these suggestions helped everyone last week.

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Diane,
Good tips for the holiday season for the writers.
OMG! Thanks for the International Prize Package. When Alex intimated about this win, I was overjoyed, thank you so much for this note.
Sorry I am a bit late here. Keep informed.

cleemckenzie said...

Great checklist! Thanks and Happy New Year, Michelle.

Gina Gao said...

This is a great checklist! I'm definitely planning to write more over my break.

JJ said...

Happy New Year!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hope this helped everyone!

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Hi Michelle, I couldn't leave a comment on my blogsite. I guess it's having an issue. But wanted to thank you for stopping by with good wishes. Happy New Year and Best wishes.