Monday, December 18, 2017

How to Maintain Your Writing Sanity During the Holidays

With the holidays coming up, many writers begin to stress. Here are a few tips for surviving without losing your sanity:

Pay attention to details and people. You’ll probably be around a lot of people and maybe in some new locations. Take advantage of it. Jot down notes about what you see and what people say.

Let family know you need a small block of time to write. If you let everyone know you need thirty minutes first thing in the morning or a little time before dinner, you’re more likely to get that slot of time to actually write. You can call it a little personal time or treat it as a business and say you have to do a little work.

Use down time and travel time well. Maybe you’re visiting the West Coast from the East Coast - and your body still wants to wake up early. Use that time to write. Or perhaps you are traveling in a car or by plane. Don some headphones and tune out the world around you to write.

Set a routine but be flexible. A designated time to write will prompt you to do so. But maybe one evening during your scheduled writing time, the family wants to go out and look at Christmas lights. It’s okay - write later or the next day.

Don’t expect too much of yourself. Yes, we just came off a productive NaNoWriMo month. But the holidays are about spending time with people and celebrations. Don’t expect a NaNo pace unless you’re having a really tiny Christmas and a lot of time off. Ease back and relax a little.

Know you don’t have to do it all. There will be parties and gatherings and family - you don’t have to attend everything. Also know there will be days that you might not get to write. Again, that’s okay. Maybe the holidays should be a break from writing.

The holidays should be joyous. Don’t let your family or a lack of writing keep you from enjoying it.

We'd like to welcome our newest member to the IWSG Admin Team - Tyrean Martinson.
Tyrean will be running our IWSG Instagram account.

The IWSG Admins would like to wish you happy holidays. We will see you again on January 3rd for IWSG post day when we announce the winners of the 2017 IWSG Anthology Contest.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit some of our most popular posts this week and thank you for helping us become a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website for Writers.


Pat Hatt said...

Great tips indeed. Yeah, have to be ready for change with many people about. Must enjoy too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, very good tips!
Welcome, Tyrean!

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic tips. I use those precious minutes after family has gone to bed to do a little writing. Welcome to Tyrean! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great tips! I was almost swamped by celebrations this weekend, and then, thankfully, a few outings were smaller than I expected or changed to meet the needs of overly full schedules for all involved.
Thanks for the instagram shout-out!

Tyrean Martinson said...

And, thanks for the welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

Welcome, Tyrean! I just now saw a post about IWSG with a tag on Instagram, so I came over here to see if it was true. And it is! Neat. :)

cleemckenzie said...

good tips, Diane. I have to print out the last one because I tend to think that have to bake those traditional cookies, decorate that traditional tree, plan that traditional dinner and on and on.

Hi again to Tyrean. Great to be working with you in a new capacity.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Thanks for the great post!
We all need some direction this time of year!


nashvillecats2 said...

Thanks for your tips Dianem though it's hard to maintain one's writing sanity without it being Christmas.


H.R. Bennett said...

Weirdly, work is my reprieve. I HAVE to work and because of what I do there are no vacation days. That said, that single excuse is my escape from anything particularly crazy (waking up at 2:30am is a wonderful excuse). In turn though, being alone at work when literally no one is around gives me time to work on stuff I need to. So, it all works out

Mirka Breen said...

Flexibility is key to retaining your groove at anytime, especially when communal responsibilities call...

Chemist Ken said...

I had quite a few days off over the holidays and we didn't go anywhere, so I managed to get a fair amount of writing done. Now that I've got momentum, I'm going to keep it going as long as possible.