Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Find Time to Write During the Holidays

Dear Santa, 

All I want for Christmas is to finish this darn manuscript. Can you swing that?  

I've been a good writer this year, and maybe if you're not too busy, could you also arrange for me to sign with a great agent after I finish it? Pleeeze?  

But if you can't swing either the finished manuscript or the agent, then could you share the secret of how you fly around the world in one night with me?  I need to make more time to write and could use some holiday magic.

Did I mention I'm leaving you some fresh-baked cookies? I may be a starving artist, but I'm not above offering you a sugary bribe.  I'll even throw in a glass of milk.

A Frustrated Writer

Yes Virginia, you can find time to write during the holidays!
We rush around to and from work and have (happy) obligations at home, but when you add into the mix shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating, and holiday gatherings, the time we once used for writing has *poof* disappeared.

And we're left shaking our heads, wondering how we'll get to re-work that last chapter or write the ending.

What's the answer?

We MUST get more creative.  And as writers, we're a pretty creative bunch.  Below I'll give you my tips on how to create more time to write and revise during the happiest yet busiest time of year and you can submit yours too!

Tip #1:  Get up earlier than usual on the weekend, but not crazy-early.  Make coffee or hot tea and say good morning to your laptop.  Now I love this time and feel early weekend mornings are magical, quiet, and peaceful.    While everyone's still asleep with sugarplums dancing in their heads, I wake a little earlier than usual to enjoy my favorite Christmas coffee (Barney's Santa's White Christmas) and the silence.  I've done some of my best work on weekend mornings.

Tip #2:  Lunch break!  During your lunch break at work, re-read your manuscript online or look at a hard copy.  Great time to use to take a look at the flow and the pacing.

Tip #3:  Bring along a composition book no matter where you go!  I purchased a few of them back when an office supply store had them for a dollar each.  These are great to carry around with you and you can jot down plot ideas or outline.  After all, when the creative muse taps us on the shoulder, we need to pay attention.  How many times has a great idea dawned upon you, only to forget about it later?  The ol' trusty composition book is the cure for all of that!  There's always a composition book in my s.u.v.  That's how I roll.

Tip #4:  The television is your friend.  A secret and sneaky friend (insert evil laugh).  If you've spent the afternoon searching for the perfect gift for your hubby or wife and now you can't find the time to write, just excuse yourself gently from the time you spend with them watching their favorite show on t.v.  Give them a hug and maybe a warm blanket, and sneak off to your computer and type away!  I do this while my hubs and my sonwatches NFL games.  Now as a family, we love to watch S.E.C. football games together, but I let them have a little male bonding time and go write.

These are a few of my favorite tips to create more time to write.  What super-secrets do you have?  If you share them with us, I'll bet you won't end up on the naughty list this year (wink).

Happy Holidays~


T.J. said...

As a Nightwalker - I do everything at night. In the calm and quiet. TV on, I can't write without the movement in the background, but muted with CC, music pounding in my ears, little dogs on each hip and a cat trying to edit before its time. I sleep when everyone else is at work/school, do my chores, cook and clean. But at night, when the world sleeps? Nothing open to tempt me to shop? I write. It's the only time I can do it.

Debra Dunbar said...

Great ideas!
I'll put in a Christmas movie, then sit beside the kids and write/edit while they watch. And of course, when they are in bed, the laptop comes out to play.

Joey Francisco said...

@TJ: You're right! Being a night owl has its perks. Great suggestion.

@Debra: Another good suggestion! I like yours. I seem to write my best when I'm relaxed and lately have put on light holiday music in the background on my laptop when I'm writing. Unless it's a scene where someone gets wacked. That requires a different set of tunes. (giggle).