Don’t delude yourself. The holidays are busy and they make it impossible to keep up your writing routine, but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. This season provides the perfect chance to take a break from your overall project and focus on individual skills that will improve your writing as a whole.
So with that in mind, here are some freeing “don’ts” for the Holidays…
Don’t judge yourself. Page count doesn’t matter. If you try to make it important now, you’ll get discouraged and that will take a much larger toll on you and your writing than taking a break for a month. Give yourself the grace to experiment because that’s where real improvement (and voice!) happens.
Don’t commit to large chunks of writing. Embrace jotting down character sketches and snippets of conversation as you stand in line at the grocery store or sit next to your great-uncle Merl. Every time you do, you’ve just successfully written something. Let yourself feel good about that and keep doing it.
Don’t be afraid to write things wholly unrelated to your story. I promise you, it’s still productive. It forces you to stretch yourself, use different writing skills, and it can really get your creativity flowing (or at least renew your love for your story by comparison).
Don’t hole yourself away. All of the people you come across, the traditions you observe, the zeitgeist of the season– it’s perfect fodder for writing, but you can’t come into contact with any of it if you try to lock yourself away. Go out! Interact with people! Observe! Participate! It’s much easier to write well about emotions, events, and characters that we have actually encountered, so go and encounter!
And whatever you do, don’t stop writing!
Abigail signing off.
P.S. Christmas Eve, I will be posting a series of exercises/prompts that can help you further capitalize on the next few brimming weeks, but I will leave you with a teaser.
The Holidays Could Be Just What You Need For…
Complete Sensory Descriptions
And. Even. More.