6 Tips to help you write over the Christmas holidays

This week, I had a conversation with a client about making the most of the holidays to write, so I thought I’d share some strategies with you too…

How to mentally prepare to write over the holidays

Let’s say you have a chunk of time off work and you want to get plenty of writing done.

But you’re exhausted, as you’ve had a busy time finishing up your work and getting ready for Christmas. You also need to rest and recuperate and you don’t want your writing will feel like another job.

But if you’re not careful, you might waste this precious time by mindlessly watching TV, scrolling social media or news sites, and playing video games. 

So the question is, how much rest do you actually need?

People often think of holidays as a time of pure relaxation. No rules. Go with the flow. Do whatever you feel like. 

But that implies letting yourself off the hook for any healthy habits you have developed, and that can be really unhelpful and unproductive. 

Holidays can be anything you want them to be. So plan the holiday you want. 

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

What can you do? Here are 6 ideas…

1. Start by reframing it. Writing is not a chore. It’s a treat. It’s not going to exhaust you, it’ll be inspiring and energising. 

2. Come up with a rule. For example: “I’m only allowed to play a video game if I’ve written for at least 30 minutes.”

3. Create a schedule. Note down all the things that are already planned. Such as seeing family and friends, and celebrating Christmas, if you’re planning to. And anything else that you have in mind. 

If you’re feeling worn out, start by scheduling at least a couple of days where you take it easy and do whatever you want. Rest. 

Then, once you’ve added all that to your schedule, add your writing sessions. 

Think about what time of day you would like to schedule these for; and how long they should be. Don’t feel like you have to write for vast long sessions. Little and often might work better during the holidays. Remember, you want to keep it up throughout the holiday, not stop after a couple of days because it’s too draining.  

4. What if you’re due to start writing and you still feel exhausted? Think about what might help you get in the right frame of mind. This will be unique to you, but here are some ideas – a short yoga session? A walk? Listen to some music or read a book for a short while. Do some meditation. Or maybe a bit of journaling to get things off your mind, if you’re feeling distracted. 

5. Watch your thoughts. If you notice that you keep putting off starting writing, catch yourself, take a breath, then consciously reprogramme your brain. For example, you could remind yourself that writing is a treat and you really want to do this.

You could also visualise your future self at the end of the holidays. How will you feel when you return to work if you’ve managed to write most days?

If you’re feeling really distracted, try one of these micro mindfulness exercises. They only take a few minutes.

6. Finally, approach it in the way that works best for you. For example, you might want to give yourself a daily word count target, or aim to reach a certain number of pages by the end of the holiday, or take it one scene at a time. 

Let me know if these various strategies work well for you, I’d love to hear from you.

Also, if you want to make the most of the new year with a writing goal, consider signing up for some 1:1 coaching. I help ambitious writers sit down and write, sharpen their confidence, and start selling themselves and their work with pride. Want to know more? Book a chat with me to find out more.

Happy Christmas to you all! Have a lovely and creative break. 

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