Writing During the Holiday Season

Writing During the Holiday Season

First and foremost, to my American followers, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving this past Thursday.  As the holiday season descends for all of us, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  With that being said, I want to take the time to talk about not falling into what I call the “Holiday Procrastinator Syndrome.”

The holiday season tends to draw us into other activities as it rightfully should, but I would caution people to not give up writing.  The holiday season with all its challenges presents a fresh source of energy and material.

  1. Don’t forget the details…

This time of year, most people are balancing multiple activities from work to family to shopping. Writing is like any other career, requiring people to prioritize events.  The best piece of advice that I give during the holiday season is to start keeping lists. Personally, I hate lists, but I have to admit that during holidays, they’re a lifesaver.  Google Calendar is my go-to app.

  1. The Magic of the Year…

During the holiday season I noticed a change, mostly a positive one, in people.  People are friendly, more willing to help.  There is a lack of cynicism as people do strive to do their best with their fellow men.  I find that watching people during the holiday season provides me with inspiration.  Writing fiction requires showing people during their best and worst moments.  It is always easy to find the bad in people, but there is something special about this time of year that allows you to see the good.

People are also more sociable during holiday season.  It’s a good time to meet new people with different backgrounds that might inspire you later on.  Remember, good characters have complex backgrounds and they change through the course of a novel.  Speaking with other people is a good way to get inspired and develop those characters.

  1. Taking time for yourself…

With all the activity that goes on this time of year, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself.  This goes back to the aforementioned list but remember to make that a priority for yourself.  Take a walk or go for a cup of coffee with a friend to decompress.

A clear mind makes for better writing.   I would recommend going for a long walk.  The idea for my fourth book came from a long walk I took when I lived in New York.  I walked from Rockefeller Center where the Tree was, through Herald Square, all the way down to the teens before I got on the subway to get back to my apartment.   I took a bunch of photos of the scenery to show my family back in California.

When I wrote Making Our Own Way, I used some of those photos for inspiration as I wrote about living in New York City during the recession.

A Final Thought…

Enjoy the holidays with your family!  Allow yourself a moment to take inspiration from the season.  You never know what might come from it.


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