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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The SixTips for Christmas and my True Love gave to me...

Managing your writing schedule during the holidays

The saying time is money comes to mind but what do you do during the holidays when there is little time to even merely breathe? Here’s some short tips for managing your writing schedule during the busy holidays.

Tip #1

Manage your daily schedule. Life comes first obviously and it makes it very difficult to free your muse when you’re stressed about your errands you need to do for the holidays. So make sure to get your to do list done so that you can free your mind and release your creativity.

Tip #2

Set aside a half hour to write. Remember you don’t need a lot of time to write, just use your most productive time. Figure out when you are the most creative during the day and make it a habit to write during that time. Every day. (These twitter sessions #500in30 are a brilliant idea to make this happen. Try it and see if it works.) But remember we are creatures of habit so start creating your habit today.

Tip #3

Set the scene. Close the door and seal yourself off from your family in order to gain some peace a quiet. Sometimes, we just need some silence in our lives. Do you ever feel like you haven’t had a moment's peace in a while? It’s probably because you haven’t. So take some time and just sit in a silent room. This can trigger your imagination and hopefully lure our elusive muse out into the open.

Light some candles, put on some soft music, and no I'm not setting the scene for a romantic rendezvous, although it could be considered such if you’re as half in love with your heroes as I am, but this creates mood. And mood is the key to releasing our creativeness. This also makes it a routine and the repetitiveness will help let your muse know it’s time come out and play.

Tip #4

Gift yourself. While you’re out and about grabbing gifts for everyone else, don’t forget to nab yourself something cute to wear or something delicious to eat. And then set it beside your desk or writing area. Once you’ve met your weekly goal, reward yourself with it. Remember to sit where you can see it every day so that it motivates you to write.

Tip #5

Remember to de-stress yourself. It’s very difficult to write when you’re under pressure. So take time to de-stress. Take a hot bubble bath, watch a funny movie (there’s no better way to relieve stress than laughing), be intimate with your significant other (everyone needs a little inspiration,) read a book, and get some fresh air by taking a walk.

Tip #6

Give yourself permission to fail. Yes, you heard me right. We’re not superwoman. We CANNOT do everything and the quicker we accept this fact, the better off we will feel. If you don’t get everything done in one day and don’t find a way to write — It’s okay. Take a breath and hope that tomorrow brings better luck. If you want to try to make up the lost words. Excellent. But if you don’t, then don’t worry about it. Christmas isn’t the time to stress yourself out over your writing. Spending time with family and friends is all that’s important during this time of year. Give yourself a break and know that we all fail sometimes. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done when you make it work and take a tip from Scarlet O’Hara “tomorrow is another day.”

Do you have any advice on managing your writing during the holidays? I’d love for you to share it with us here.


  1. Great tips, Suzie! Don't know that I have a lot to offer, but I'm in a strange mood this morning. How about...

    1 - Write with a nice mug of eggnog next to you. And re-fill it often, It might not be Hemingway's drink of choice, but it is festive. And it might just loosen you up enough to write something spectacular.

    2 - If you have in-laws visiting, it's the perfect excuse to avoid certain people. "Ah, honey, I would love to sit and talk with your parents and sister, but I do have a deadline. Give them my love." Then seal yourself off where no one can find you. EVER.

    LOL. See, strange mood this morning. Take my advice at your own risk of becoming a lush or alienating your significant other's relations. ;)

  2. I recall Cheri Adair talking about planning time off in the year and structuring writing time with those weeks off. So, I've decided not to push myself during Christmas, which is a good thing since I just took a nap. :)

    Samantha G

  3. Excellent advice, Ava! LOL I love it! And my new festive drink of choice lately is Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, have you tried it? Oh yummy, time for another!

    Samatha that would be an excellent idea if I weren't under deadline. So since that's not the case, I have to get a move on and take my own advice. #500in30 here I come!

    Thanks for stopping in ladies!

  4. I find if I read a book in the same time period/location as what I'm working on, it goes much better. I learn as much from just reading good authors as I do from reading all the rules and regulations put out there by those 'in the know.' To my way of thinking, it's all about the story. I've known authors who edit the life out of their story by applying all the 'rules.'

  5. Great idea, Callie. Reading is always a help when I'm writing. I wish I had more time to read actually, it always puts me in a mood to write. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your tips!

  6. I think that I'm going to try to "gift " myself with a desk this holiday season! I write at the kitchen table, and have nowhere else to go, so you can imagine how well that works. My writing day usually starts after a full Mommy Day, at about 9pm. I know some of you feel that! :D