Christmas and the holiday season is upon us, and writers can often find themselves caught between the fun of celebrating with friends and family, and their desire to stay productive. Finding balance in celebrating the silly season and your writing can be a challenge but not impossible! If you can be a little creative, there are a bunch of practical ways you can maintain your writing routine and immerse yourself into the holidays in ways that will inspire your words. So, here is some advice for writers for the Christmas season.
1. Plan Your Writing Schedule
Before the holiday season gets into full swing, establish a writing schedule that accommodates your festivities and commitments. Allocate specific times for writing and stick to them as closely as possible. This will help you stay on track and ensure that your writing doesn’t get sidelined, while still allowing you to enjoy all the events you’ve said yes to with family and friends.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Be honest with yourself about how much writing you can realistically accomplish during the holiday season. Adjust your writing goals accordingly, even if it means writing a little less (or very little). It’s better to make progress at a sustainable pace than to overwhelm yourself but setting yourself an unachievable goal. A few words each day can be enough sometimes.
3. Embrace Seasonal Inspiration
Christmas can be pretty inspiring. Use the cheerful atmosphere, decorations, and holiday traditions to fuel your creativity. Consider writing holiday-themed stories or incorporating seasonal elements into your current projects. Try picking up a Christmas themed novel to read to get the creative ideas flowing.
4. Write Greeting Cards
Combine your love for writing with the tradition of sending Christmas cards. Craft personalized, heartfelt messages that will be cherished by your friends and family. It’s a creative way to share your writing skills and connect with loved ones at the same time.
5. Document Your Holiday Memories
Keep a journal during the holidays to capture the magic of Christmas. Write about the special moments, traditions, and experiences you and your loved ones share. These personal anecdotes may serve as valuable material for future writing projects. Fill it with photos, receipts from outings, bits of wrapping paper. Get creative and crafty! Pinterest can be a great place for some inspiration like the below:
6. Create a “Writing Retreat”
Designate a cosy corner or a room in your home as a “writing retreat” during the holidays. Deck it out with Christmas lights, scented candles, and festive decorations to create a peaceful and inspiring atmosphere for writing. Event better if you can do it in place where you can close the door for some quiet time.
7. Use Downtime Wisely
The holidays often bring moments of downtime—while waiting for dinner to cook, during long car rides, or before sleep. Make use of these moments in your days for jotting down ideas, notes, or even paragraphs for your work in progress. If you find this time is in the evenings and you don’t want to sit in front of your computer try having a notebook handy instead.
8. Seek Accountability
Something I love to do which keeps me motivated to write or edit my work is sharing my writing goals with my writer friends to help keep my accountable. Sometimes just knowing you said to someone you’re going to try and do xyz can be the push to get those words down on the page. If you’re timing lines up, try doing writing sprints with them as well, keeping in touch over video call or text.
9. Attend Christmas Writing Workshops
Check out your writing community noticeboards, Facebook groups or local organisations to see if they are offering special Christmas themed workshops or writing challenges. Participating in these kinds of activities can help give you a fresh perspective and inspire your writing in new ways.
10. Be Kind to Yourself
This is such a big one to remember. The Christmas season is time for relaxing and connecting with family and friends, so enjoy it. Don’t stress yourself out because you didn’t find time to write on Christmas Eve or didn’t meet your word count on Boxing Day. Writing isn’t a sprint, it’s about doing what you can to add up to the longer journey. So if everyone else if off having fun and you’re grumbling about writing at home, maybe close the laptop and join them for a few hours of fun. You deserve a break!
11. Reflect on the Year
Writing can be isolating at times and it’s easy to forget what you’ve done over the past year in getting to where you’re at. Take a look back. How many chapters did you write, how many words did you put on the page, how many cups of coffee did you drink while editing? Whatever it ease celebrate what you achieved, notice your growth and take the opportunity to set some new goals for the upcoming year.
12. Engage with Fellow Writers
Check in with fellow writers or your online writing communities that a celebrating the silly season. Share your ideas and seek advice from others who understand the challenges and joys of writing during this time. They might just offer you some strange but fantastic detail that could be a life saver.
I love Christmas, it’s a fun (although sometimes stressful) time of the year. I can’t wait to enjoy the downtime with a little bit of writing and reading this December and January. With a little bit of planning and Christmas inspiration I hope this list of advice for writers helps you to continue your writing over the season, and remind you to be kind to yourself.
Happy writing and Merry Christmas.