How to Make Writing a Priority Over the Holidays

Manage Holiday Stress, Get Writing Done, and Feel Great About It!

For those of us in the U.S., the holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving this Thursday. Whether you look at the approaching holidays with a twinkle of excitement in your eye or would prefer to skip the hustle and bustle of the season, we all can admit it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

Between events, parties, shopping, baking, cooking, and so much more, we can easily slip into overdrive (or overkill). So many people give way to a frenzied “seasonal” spirit that they lose focus on their priorities and shelve their writing goals.

Use these tips to keep on the right track with your writing efforts and enjoy the holidays!

  • Write Before You Do Anything Else

    Let writing be the first major task you tackle by setting aside as much time as you can allow and doing it: write first thing every single day. This may be a major shift in your routine, so remember this: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Ultimately, if you really, truly want to make writing a priority, you’ll find a way. Consider it as a promise to yourself and your readers.

  • Assign Writing Deadlines

    It’s easy to say, “It can wait another day – I just need to get XYZ out of the way first.” You’ll always find a replacement “XYZ” to put off writing if you get into the habit. Even if you are your own editor-in-chief, assign yourself a deadline: “I need to get this to my editor by [insert time] on [insert date].” This will help you hold yourself accountable and push yourself to meet your own writing deadlines to ensure you write, publish, and engage your audience.

  • Set Reminders

    As you try to squeeze even more out of your packed day, your calendar may become nearly unintelligible with notes, errands, and more. So much so, you may need to hire a cryptographer to decipher the code you call your calendar. To keep honest and ensure you can touch each task for a reasonable amount of time (and not a minute more), set a reminder or alarm to alert yourself when it’s time to wrap up or bookmark your current task and then start your next task.

  • Say No and Feel Good About It

    Whether you’re uncomfortable saying no because you’re a people pleaser or you get a thrill out of the challenge, learn to say “no.” I covered this briefly in last Friday’s post (#12), but I’d like to expand upon it here. Here are 5 “no” replies that you can start using now:

    • No, this doesn’t align with my current priorities.
    • No, there isn’t time for it.
    • No, this will only happen if you make [insert impossible scenario here] happen.
    • No, not now, but maybe next time.
    • No, it won’t happen, ever.
  • Manage Holiday Stress

    The largest hurdle to overcome is holiday stress, which attributes a societal spike in anger issues, anxiety, depression, and yes, even writer’s block. Use the following tips to manage your stress:

    1. Keep things in perspective by focusing on your priorities.
    2. Be honest with your limitations and set realistic goals.
    3. Let your family and friends know about your commitments.
    4. Keep it simple to avoid over-doing it with elaborate plans.
    5. Don’t over-schedule yourself with engagements, visits, etc.
    6. Take care of yourself by getting enough exercise and quality sleep.
    7. Allow yourself “me time” and do the things that you enjoy.
    8. Make plans to visit friends and family after the holidays.
    9. Connect and reconnect with positive people who add value to your life.
    10. Take time to stop and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Use the above tips to work in more hassle-free writing time over the holidays. What tips do you have to enjoy the holidays while making writing a priority? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Looking for more tips? Squeeze more time out of your day: 30 Time-Saving Tips

P.S. We’re only one week away from Cyber Monday! This year we’ll be offering incredible discounts on Article Template packages and Premium Membership. Stay tuned!

14 Comments »


1
Terry Weber writes:

You don’t always have to be writing. It is good to stop and think, and think and think about what you will write next time. “Write” it in your head first. Think about your aims for your writing career, establish some goals, decide what you want to achieve. But remember, your writing does not exist until you put it on paper…think about that too. Thinking is the first step in the journey that moves you toward your successful writing career.

Comment provided November 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

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2
Deb Wood writes:

I plan on getting my article finished over Thanksgiving weekend so these tips come at a great time in the planning of my Holiday!

Comment provided November 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

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3
William Lange writes:

These are good (albeit basic) tips. For some, writing first thing in the morning doesn’t work. Personally, my best writing often comes in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep and everything is nice and quiet.

Comment provided November 25, 2013 at 12:50 PM

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4
Alan Okina writes:

Breaking the old habits and developing a new habit with a lifestyle that you don’t feel right if you don’t write periodically are also important. In saying that, a short break and holiday are also a good chance of recharging and refreshing ideas of writing as we visit someone or go somewhere unfamiliar.

Comment provided November 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

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5
giup viec nha writes:

Think about your aims for your writing career, establish some goals, decide what you want to achieve.

Comment provided November 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM

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6
Gracious Store writes:

I wonder how realistic it will be to keep up with routine of writing mist all the hassles of the holiday season. I think it will be ok (without any guilt feeling) to let the usual routines including writing to “be on holiday” just for the season, and then take its proper place after the holiday. The holiday season will be a good “breeding season” for new ideas to write about after the holiday season

Comment provided November 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM

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7
Brittany writes:

The only time that I can write easily and effectively is once I have everything done. Whether it be preparing a meal or cleaning the entire house. I have the mindset if I work in a cluttered messy space then my brain and my work will be that way. I have tried writing first thing in the morning and it caused some serious writer’s block for me. The one time it did work was when I woke up to a clean house and had an extremely hot coffee in my hand. Good luck to everyone and their writing this Holiday season!

Comment provided November 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

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8
Terry Weber writes:

As you meet with and talk with people during the holidays pay close attention to what they tell you when you ask them: “What are you doing these days?”
Their answers can give you lots of fresh new ideas you can put to use when you get back to writing.

Comment provided November 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

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9
Joe Q writes:

Yes sometimes is good to learn How to say “No”, Terry wrote about sitting and thing, yes that is one way, or just go straight sit and write, please check how I do it on my site.

Comment provided November 27, 2013 at 10:02 PM

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10

Have a Nice Holiday. But during holidays only, we get new thoughts and ideas for writing article or poem ,building a home, buying a new car or even making improvements to our daily chorus.

Definitely, after this holiday, we can await new ideas and suggestions from you also.

Comment provided November 28, 2013 at 5:00 AM

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11

You are right. The best time to write is first thing in the morning because when you sleep you dream, and these dreams sometimes have a good story line, so you want to start writing right away before your mind gets filled up with your daily work.
Joseph Caccarile

Comment provided November 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM

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12
Mike Andrews writes:

The holiday time might upset some people’s mental stability which might ruin their writing routine even for the next year.

Comment provided December 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

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13
Dean Rodrigue writes:

Great Post

Comment provided December 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

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14
sue writes:

Thanks!

Comment provided December 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

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