Monday, December 9, 2013

3 Tips to Get Through the Holidays Without Sacrificing Word Count

Here in Utah, the first big snow of the season has hit. We've had previous snow, but it's been small storms that have melted away within a few days. This is a three-day-long dump that's leaving the sidewalks slippery, the visibility terrible, and the roads downright scary.

Winter anyplace that has extreme weather can put a strain on your writing time. Longer commutes, holiday events, and the inevitable rise in day-to-day problems can put a major cramp in your author style. So, here are some tips for keeping up on your writing work and word count.

1. Plan, plan, PLAN! The best way to keep up with things in the daily grind is to plan ahead. Plan for the commute to take an extra few minutes each day. Adjust your writing time accordingly. Plan ahead for the inevitable craving for comfort food. Meal prep times will probably rise. Between the snow, the cold the holidays, and all the other stressors, no doubt you'll find it easier than ever to rationalize missing a writing session or two. All this can be avoided if you just PLAN and then stick to it.

Disclaimer: Persons standing in lines over the holidays will
not necessarily be this happy . In fact, this picture is a little
bit creepy. (Source)
2. Multi-task. Use the extra commute time and other extra things to plan--even just mentally--for your next writing session. 

Commute doubled? Go over your next chapter in your head as many times as you can before arriving. When you sit down to type it, it will come faster and easier. 

Have to run more errands, decorate for a party, stand in line for longer? Jot down notes in a notebook, reinforce your commitment to your writing sessions, and work on that outline or character sketch in your downtime. You'll be amazed how much you can get done in between the "busy" parts of the Christmas season.

3. Give yourself a break. Accept that you probably won't be as productive during the month of December as you were, say, during NaNoWriMo. That's okay. If you accomplish anything in your writing during the month of December, you've accomplished more than most. 

So, if the little things get away from you, or you don't quite hit your goal word count, don't worry about it. Spend time with God and family (the reason for the season); with Wal-mart and USPS (the realities of the season); and do everything in your power to enjoy the holidays.

Happy holidays, Everyone! And happy writing, too. Everyone drive safe out there!

Anyone else have any tips for keeping up with your writing during the holidays?

1 comment :

  1. No way I look that happy standing in line!
    If you plan ahead for all that extra stuff, you can still get a lot of writing done.
    And wish we had snow...