Maybe you’re coming off a particularly productive NaNoWriMo month. Or not. But most writers have projects—big, small, in-between—going all the time, and momentum is important.
It seems like there never is enough time to do everything during the holiday season, which for most people stretches from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. There’s decorating. Holiday cards. Baking. Working. Parties. Shopping. Your children’s school holiday shows. Everyday life.
Oh yeah, and writing. Remember writing? NaNoWriMo? Momentum?
It is easy for writing to get buried beneath the avalanche of holiday activities.
Yet, letting your writing projects slide for an entire month (actually, six weeks), which is tempting, can send them all spiraling downward into a black winter hole, never to emerge again until well past Groundhog Day or the first day of spring.
So how to strike a balance?
Think about all the pieces that go into your writing project(s). Research, maybe. Spend a half hour or hour learning about your character’s birthmark or potentially fatal illness. Study the issues surrounding guns and riot control if your project involves a riot or terrorist attack. If you don’t have first-hand experience, talk to friends or do some on-line reading about parent-child relationships and issues at various ages. Try outlining scenes if your writing is fiction. Or outlining content if your writing is non-fiction.
Focus on a small but essential piece of your project that you can walk away from without losing your direction. For example, if you write fantasy or science fiction, draw upon the magic of the season to imagine the world in which your story takes place. Take time when your brain and body are too tired for other activities to read stories/books that could be competitors to your project. Peruse a book or online site of names and try them out on your proposed characters. Lock them in. Live with them for a few days. Include them in your other holiday activities. Yeah, you have to be a little careful about that, or people around you might think you’re a bit bonkers.
Make lists to help you organize the steps you need to take when you are ready to accelerate full speed ahead in January.
Little steps taken now, while allowing time to complete (and enjoy!) the holiday activities, will position you to launch into a productive 2017 writing year.
Above all, be kind to yourself. Enjoy the holidays. They only come once a year, and none of us knows what the next year will bring.