How do you carve out time to write while still taking time to carve the turkey? This is a tough one for me. Holidays are very family-oriented in my house, and family always comes first. However, writing is an important part of my life, and when I allow my writing time to slip; it’s completely gone before I know it. Making time for writing is especially important at the holidays, for several reasons.
First, holidays are the best time for telling stories. Family is everywhere, and when we take time to listen, our relatives say the most amazing things. Sit Grandma down and ask her to tell you about how she used to play Mumblety Peg. Write while she tells her story. Maybe it has nothing to do with the novel you’re working on, but you never know when a little detail might sneak its way into something else later. These tiny pieces of history will become cherished gems in your family legends.
Second, emotions run high at the holidays. Instead of letting them get the best of you, use them to your advantage. Allow the stress, sadness, or joy to pour out onto your page. I’ve found that emotions have a way of clinging to words in a way that your readers will feel as well. They will instantly connect with your writing in a way that you couldn’t otherwise achieve.
Lastly, with all of the craziness that comes with each holiday—the shopping, cooking, decorating, cleaning, and communicating in every different form—you need some quiet time. We all do. Even if you sit at your keyboard, type three sentences and then fall asleep, it’s something. You have three sentences more than when you started. You’ve written, and that’s big.
Don’t let Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other day of the year become a reason not to write something. Instead, allow them to inspire you to create something special.