How to Fit Writing Time into the Holidays

table with notepad and ipad
Category: Writing

The festive season is a busy time, so how do you manage to fit in a bit of writing when the holidays are drawing nigh? We’ve pulled together some top tips for getting the most writing out of your holiday time.

Eliminate the time wasters

Press pause on things that suck up your time (ie. social media, tv, video games, online sales). It's important to take time to de-stress but be mindful of how many hours you've spent 'relaxing' or 'catching up' and what you have to show for it. Use that time for writing instead!

Use your time spent waiting

Nobody likes to wait. But two minutes watching a website load, five minutes on the bus, 10 minutes queuing at the shops all adds up. Make use of this time by writing. I like to write on the move and so utilise 'waiting' time making notes and planning my writing for later. Just make sure you don't miss your bus stop!

 It’s amazing how being in motion can help you trample out problems in your story

Get up an hour earlier (this goes for getting anything done) and maybe having one less drink the night before

Or you could go all out, read Marie Kondo’s book on the Magic of Tidying, sort out your whole house, and once it’s all tidy and clutter-free, you’ll have a free head for doing the things you actually want to do – writing, in this case.

Ignore the things that need doing but can wait

Dishes need washing? Floors need hoovering? Both can wait! Just give yourself an hour or so to bang a few paragraphs or pages out. Doesn’t matter if it’s terrible, or just a bit of fun (you never know where a bit of fun might lead…) as long as you get something on a page. And once you get on a roll, things can really take off.

For the parents: take advantage of naptimes!

As soon as the kid/s goes down, ignore everything else and hit that computer!

Simplify

Don’t be a martyr and insist on cooking two types of potatoes, three different types of roast and four puddings all by yourself. Keep things simple and ask everyone to help out. If they don’t help, buy takeaway and let the lazy sods get on with it – spend the remaining time and energy on writing.

Get out

Go out alone somewhere, like the library or cafe, but take only a notebook and pen. Take long walks. You don’t need to be at a desk to write. You can get out into nature on a crisp winter morning (like we used to have before global warming) armed with a notepad and your brain. Flip your story ideas, or characters, around in your mind. It’s amazing how being in motion can help you trample out problems in your story. 

Switch off

It's easy to get distracted by the net. You wouldn’t write with the TV on in the background would you? Exactly. Switch your router off at the plug, or download an app like Freedom and you will reach new levels of concentration. Switch your phone off too, while you're at it.

Take breaks

Your brain needs the occasional rest.

Set manageable goals

Have a goal but don't make it so unattainable you get frustrated. So, for instance, plan to write 250 words, instead of 2,500 (and then if you hit 2,500, yay!). 

Make a New Year’s resolution and tell everyone 

Gain leverage on yourself by telling everyone that you will have completed such and such by a definite time in 2016.

 

For more great tips on writing, read about writing poetry on Twitter, getting your creative juices flowing, and how writing in longhand makes writing mobile.