This is the time of year when the writing process may come to a halt for many authors or fledgling authors. It is hard to think about writing a fictional tale when real life is getting very complicated all around us. There are presents to buy, holiday decorating to be done, extra meals to be cooked for guests or extra company, or just visiting with relatives you don't see very often. How can we make time to do any writing work during these busy times? Isn't it easier to simply set aside the writing process and promise to make a harder effort in the new year?
There are things you can still do to work on your writing even during the chaos of the holidays. This may be a busy time but you can put some of that busy time period to work for you.
1. Come up with new story ideas. Think up a Christmas tale based on something you hear or something that happens to you. You might even do a small focus group around the holiday table and get some great story ideas. Or you might listen to a story someone tells and think about how you would use the elements of that tale in a story of your own.
2. Look around and write down descriptions that you can use later. Note the holiday decorations or the sights and sounds of the holiday and write up a few paragraphs about them so that if you want to write a holiday story you already have some ideas of what you want to say.
3. Think through your plot or your characters while you're doing that endless busy work like wrapping presents or unstringing light bulbs. Sometimes the work of getting ready for the holidays can seem so taxing, but take your mind away to another world while you're stamping those cookies with a cookie cutter out for the office holiday party.
4. Use friends and family for a focus group around the holiday dinner table. Let them help you come Home Fires Burning. Those sort of family tales are all around us and if you tell them as fiction or turn them even into a non-fiction story, it gives you something to write about.
5. Don't despair if you find you have no time to write. Try doing some editing during quiet times as a way of breaking the holiday time, or simply read over your story to make certain you're heading in the right direction. Read it as a reader rather than as the writer. Maybe you'll find new directions to take or reinforce your thoughts about how the plot was working.
Mainly it is important to not beat up on yourself if you don't get a lot of writing done for the next few weeks. Take the time for yourself or make that resolution to write more in the New Year!