The holidays bring fun, food, family, and quite often, a whole lot of stress and chaos! And yet, it’s still my favorite time of year. I love the lights and decorations, the festive dishes and friendly gatherings, the music and laughter. It’s just a time filled with hope and promise. Of course, it’s also full of zaniness the closer Christmas Day approaches.
As our schedules fill up with shopping, parties, travel, visiting relatives and more, my creativity quite often takes a hit. I’ll be honest, while I love the holidays, it’s also my least productive time of the year as far as getting words to flow. Finding time to write feels impossible with so many seasonal demands and distractions, the clutter with extra decorations taking up what used to be empty space. But writing during the holidays, even when I can only carve out small pockets of time, offers excellent opportunities to spark my imagination as the world is full of different scenery and fantastic displays. In the bustle and excitement of the season, inspiration can strike when you least expect it! In this post, I want to explore some tips for how I fit creative writing into my chaotic holiday world.
Tips for Writing Through Holiday Chaos
- Get up early. Or earlier, anyway. Even if it’s only for thirty minutes earlier than normal, it’s still something. I steal this quiet time before the household wakes to work on my writing, completely distraction-free. Or as distraction-free as the cats will allow.
- I bring a notebook everywhere. Armed with a small notebook and pen to jot down spur-of-the-moment story ideas and inspirational holiday observations as they strike, I’m ready for any shopping trip or social gathering. Even if I don’t have time to flesh them out right then, I at least captured them for later.
- I also take advantage of pockets of waiting time. Holiday lines and travel delays become chances to bust out my phone or tablet and add sentences or paragraphs to a draft. Small additions really do add up over time!
- And then I give myself grace. If I skip writing for a couple of days during holiday stretches, I forgive myself and pick up the keyboard the next day. Creativity ebbs and flows naturally, and I know I’ll just get back into it when I can. No guilt allowed!
- I also draw writing inspiration from the season, paying attention to holiday sights, sounds, smells, memories. I then jot down sensory details and moments of family interplay that spark story visions to explore later.
The craziness of the holidays may threaten my writing routine, but instead of letting it derail me and make me frustrated, I see it as a seasonal spark for my imagination. Following the tips above, I keep my creative juices flowing this time of year. The stories, characters and worlds I envision now amidst the holiday hubbub may become some of my best work yet. I can’t wait to find out!