Friday, December 06, 2013

Tips to Adjust Your Writing Schedule and Enjoy the Holidays!

by Edie Melson

The holidays can be stressful
The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone. But for those of us who work from home, the juggling act can be a minefield of unreasonable expectations and disappointments. And turning off your computer for a month and half isn't the answer. It's hard to restart a productive routine after taking a month off.

Today I want to share some tips to adjust your writing schedule and enjoy the holidays.

Observe. Refill your imagination tank. When you’re at a Christmas party or the mall, take a small notepad and notice something interesting about everyone there. Maybe it’s a small quirk (like a woman who constantly tucks her hair behind her ear or a new turn of phrase – like Oh for Crying in the Sink. I thought I’d die the first time I heard Susie say that)

Set small goals to stay on track
Set small goals. I struggle with my weight because I love to eat – especially baked goods. Now I have a rule for every Christmas treat I eat, like a cookie, I’m going to write 250 words first. Or Finish a blog post, or write a portion of a devotions. Something productive. I learned this one from a friend of mine, Lynn Blackburn

And on this, rethink your blogging schedule. Maybe you should reduce the number of posts you put up during the holidays. Truthfully it won’t hurt your presence because people have less time to read blogs during December.

Use the buddy system. I have several writer friends with whom I have a standing agreement. Anytime I’m in a jam for a blog post, I’m welcome to steal something they’ve written on their sites.

Catch up on your reading
Catch up on your reading. Visit those blogs you’ve been meaning to read. Find a book on craft and read it. There’s lots of waiting that goes on during the holidays, use it.

You can also use this time to read books in your genre and/or hang out on Goodreads making a to-be-read list for next year.

Rest. Set realistic goals and give yourself a pass on pounding out thousands of words on your WIP. Enjoy your family and friends. You’ll be fresher and stronger when the New Year rolls around.

Now I'd love to hear from you. What are some things you do to readjust your schedule and enjoy the holidays?

Edie Melson is the author of four books, as well as a freelance editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.


Kathy Cretsinger said...

Very good advice, Ane. I need to head it. Hadn't thought about writing 250 words before a holiday treat. Good advice.

Edie Melson said...

Kathy, I'm so glad you found some of these helpful! Blessings, E

Laura McClellan said...

Timely post, Edie, and some really good advice. I especially appreciate the reminder that maybe during this holiday season it's okay to not be pounding out thousands of words a day. I struggle year-round with finding the right balance between pushing myself to meet writing (and other) goals and, on the other hand, having a realistic view of what I can accomplish given all the other demands on my time and energy. Writing is important, but so is enjoying family and friends and remembering the "reason for the season."