Friday, December 13, 2013

Novel Habits and the Holidays

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Life has the most obnoxious habits about stepping right into the middle of a project (ie: your writing time) and stealing the opportunity for working, right out from under you. It seems this time of year there are more Christmas programs, deals to hit, cookies to bake and presents to ship than ought to be allowed and that’s just the nature of this season, so how do you find those snippets of time to pound words onto the page?

1): Make no excuses to put in at least 100 words every day. That might not seem like much, but it’s forward momentum and you’re less lightly to lose energy for your story if you keep a little bit of progress going every day.  Plus 100 words are really quite easy to get on the page. OR, if you’re editing, it doesn’t take long to play around. And if you’re like me and editing is like pulling teeth (wink) 100 words at a time might be an easier bite to chew.

2): If your priority is your family this time of year (as it should be :- )), but you still want to fit in a bit of time for your books, get up a half hour earlier in the morning or stay up a half hour later in the evening and dedicate that time ONLY to writing. Not answering emails or playing on pinterest and facebook, this is strictly time for you and your word documents. Pound out as much as you can, then close the computer and be pleased with what you did. Because it wouldn’t have been done at all if you hadn’t dedicated that time to your project.

3): Bring your family in on the process. Unless you are one of those writers who HAS to write in the quiet of your cave, pull out a fleece blanket, cuddle up next to the fire and if you have young kids, give them a pad of paper and a pencil and let them “write” a story while you work on yours. What memories you’ll create along with some forward progress on your word count.

Fitting time in to write during this season isn’t as hard as it would seem if you look for those pockets of time to write in. When January rolls around, it’ll be back to school schedules and dedicated writing time, but until then, take a deep breath and spend a little bit more concentrated time working on your book.

Enjoy this holiday season! Make memories with your families and enjoy your time with your books. This is not the time to get burnt out or stressed because of the lack of word volume or even the fact that you might have missed a session. Just go grab the next glass of eggnog or spiced hot chocolate and focus on staying warm...and maybe a little bit of novel creation. ;-)

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people. 


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

What? How can you not do Pinterest at Christmas???? ;)

Julia M. Reffner said...

You are a great motivator, Case! I'm cutting out social media until the New Year for two reasons: 1) it can not only be a time waster, but also reduce my creativity, and 2) wanting more Jesus time over the holidays.

(The 100 words is a great suggestions because its sort of like can't write just 100 words!)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Good advice here, Love! :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great, Casey! Love these tips. I've given up on any more writing this week. Sigh. But, I'll do what I can to work some revisions on my story. :)

Thanks for the encouragements!

Casey said...

Not the ENTIRE time, Sherrinda, all things in moderation. ;)

Casey said...

Julia, good for you! I probably should go on a social media fast too...but I love my friends so much! :) LOL! That's a GREAT point and so true. :)

Casey said...

Thanks, Ames. :)

Casey said...

Jeanne and some weeks are just like that. Enjoy your family...that vacation is coming up very soon! :)