The holidays are busy for everyone, with decorating, food preparation, gift buying, treat making, card sending, and more. Some authors plan their schedules to take time off, but that isn’t always possible. Here are 20 tips to help you not fall behind on writing this season so you can still reach your writing goals.
Goal Related Tips
- Have a specific writing goal.
- Write out your goal.
- Christmas is only actually one day. You can still get writing done the morning of Christmas Eve.
- Christmas time is still family time, so don’t make too many writing goals that will keep you from making lasting memories.
- Set time aside for writing—make this a specific time of the day so you can’t put it off, rather than a general time, like “after breakfast.”
- Keep to your regular writing routine as much as possible; your brain is used to writing during these times, so don’t be afraid of saying no to or rescheduling commitments that infringe on your writing time.
- Make a list of the holiday tasks you need to do and time block them. Time blocking allows you to focus on one task at a time and get it done efficiently without trying to figure out what you should do next or worrying about everything else you need to do.
- Schedule holiday activities like sending cards, dropping off gifts, caroling (if you enjoy that), etc., for when your kids are home; that way you can spend time together and get holiday tasks done when you probably wouldn’t be writing anyway.
- Don’t worry if the tree or house aren’t decorated perfectly. Maybe even keep some of the decorations in their boxes.
- Unless you love baking cookies, save time by getting store-bought sugar cookies and frosting to spread on them. (In my opinion, decorating them is the fun part anyway!)
- Draw names among your extended family so you only have to get a gift for one person outside of your immediate family.
- Shop online: a lot of stores also have an online presence, and many offer coupons and free shipping during the holidays.
- Rather than spending extra time trying to figure out what gifts to give those hard-to-shop for people in your life, consider getting them a gift card or gift basket.
- If you need more time, then ditch the Christmas cards—if you still want to send something out, you could send an email, or post on Facebook.
- Scale back the Christmas dinner by buying some store-bought items (many of them are good, I promise!). You could get store-bought mashed potatoes, a ham that you simply warm up, canned cranberry sauce, pre-made pie, or stuffing in a box. Even if you only switch out a few dishes for something from the store, that will greatly decrease the stress.
- Keep a long-term perspective: what will you care about in, say, February? That the decorations were just so? That you made cookies from scratch? That you stayed two hours later at that holiday party? Or that you finished your book?
- Set boundaries by letting your family know that you’re still writing during the holidays, especially if you have family staying with you. You could even let them know what hours you’re writing during so they know when they can and can’t interrupt you, so they can support you in your writing goals this holiday.
- If family is visiting, or the kids are home from school on break, still take time to write, but choose a nearby coffee shop or library to work in so you won’t be distracted or interrupted.
- Make decorating a family activity: it gets done faster and it’s fun to spend time with family. If you’re a perfectionist, this does mean you have to let go of everything being “just so.”
- Make sure your children who are home for the holiday have activities to keep them entertained so they don’t interrupt your writing time.
We wish you luck with meeting your writing goals during the holidays, and we hoped this post has helped! Happy writing!