Monday, November 19, 2012

A Musingly Hectic Holiday Week

So, it's Thanksgiving week!

While I personally love holiday weeks, my muse finds them frustrating.  I can only imagine the challenge of this upcoming week for those of you who are trying to fit NaNoWriMo obligations around familial ones.  It's never easy, but during the holidays, it becomes even more difficult.

I'm not attempting to write a novel in a month, but balancing blogging and my other writing is going to be difficult this week.  And then there's next month with Christmas and New Years. Plenty of people look forward to these days as an opportunity to gather with family and friends free of the stresses of work.  For those of us who write, however, inspiration can and will hit at any time.  Muses work through the holidays, forcing those of us who must bow to their will to juggle.

So, how are we to enjoy the holiday with family while still being writers?  I figured I'd share some of my goals for the week that I think will help me maximize my holiday enjoyment.  feel free to contribute your own tips in the comments.
  1. Recognize that, with as many plans as you may have over the course of the holiday, you may not be able to dedicate as much time to writing each day as you normally might.  If possible, work extra hard on the days preceding and following the festivities to make up the difference.
  2. If you're traveling, bring a notebook with you for the journey.  You can outline a story, or write a stray scene or two without too much trouble.
  3. When you do have some down time to dedicate to writing, make the most of it, no matter how short a time it may be.  It's the quality of the work you do that matters most.  Remember, you can easily spend 12 hours procrastinating, or you can spend 15 minutes writing something worth keeping.
  4. During your gatherings, keep an eye and ear out for any inspiration you may encounter.  When you get that many people together under one roof, interesting things are bound to occur.
  5. If you have any family members who are supportive of your writing, feel free to discuss any issues you're having with them.  I know we don't all have the benefit of this, but if you do, make the most of it!  Sometimes bouncing ideas off someone and getting a fresh perspective on that tricky scene or plot hole can make all the difference.
  6. If you become frustrated with a lack of progress, it may help to take a moment to think of all the things you're thankful for.  By focusing on the things we do have instead of the things we don't, it helps us to put things in perspective.  And with perspective comes the patience and motivation to keep going in spite of our obstacles.

Granted, I'm no professional, but those are some things I'll bear in mind this week as I try to accomplish what I can.  Easier said than done perhaps, but it never hurts to try.


  1. That's why I was determined to finish edits on my manuscript this past weekend, because I know the rest of this week would be challenging.

  2. I will have time to tinker at writing this week, but it will not be the priority. I also find the busy holidays are a good time to read a little-- I have so much on my reading list!

  3. Man, holidays are when I get MORE writing time because I'm off of work. I'm lookin' forward to this week! ;)

  4. I'm finishing my NANO project this week and cooking for family. I have to run, I'm supposed to be writing!

    Have a great week!

  5. I hope you have a great and productive Thanksgiving :) I have no such excuses, I'm just lazy at the moment :)


  6. Awesome post! Holidays can be rough, but you've suggested some great things to help out.