“‘Tis the season to be jolly” … I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it hard to stay focused as the holiday season picks up steam. Maybe it’s that my novel revision is progressing slowly and so I’m more prone to want to do something active and more instantly gratifying. Or maybe it’s simply that everything around me is fighting for my attention and virtually screaming: relax, have fun, pop a chill pill, watch all those old holiday movies, take it easy for a while, don’t push yourself.
Just in case you’re experiencing the same thing, here are a few suggestions that may help us all stay on track so the holidays are more of a hiccup than a major hiatus from our writing:
Let’s choose to write: Sure, there are a dozen things vying for our time and attention 24/7. But the noise level really ratchets up during this time of year and can easily drown out that still, small voice inside that’s reminding us that what’s really important is what happens on the page. So let’s listen to and honor that voice by actively choosing to stick with our writing priorities, even in the midst of fun and festivities.
Let’s keep on writing: It’s can be very tempting right now to let go of whatever writing regimen or habits we’ve worked hard to cultivate. But if we go without writing for major chunks of time, we run the risk of losing valuable momentum. There’s plenty of research which shows that writing every day fuels productivity and also generates more ideas. So, whether your muse is whispering in your ear or off skiing in Colorado, let’s stay strong and keep working.
Let’s not go crazy: One key to emerging from the holidays with our writing life more or less intact is to avoid setting some super ambitious year-end goal that is tailor-made to boost our stress level and result in sleepless nights.
Let’s remember that it’s all fun: In the end, if we can just hold onto the joy and pleasure waiting for us on the page, we can bring that joy to everything we’re doing, including sharing the holidays with family and friends — and writing on.