Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
No getting around it, the holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, families are gathering, and Christmas music will soon be playing. The joys, the stresses… here they come!
What does this mean for writers? I’ve noticed that this season often leads to frustration for people who work at home while also trying to juggle a busy life. The time available for your writing dwindles and you start to feel behind and get stressed that you’re not meeting your goals.
So I propose that today, or this weekend, you take a few quiet moments to make yourself a Holiday Plan. Let’s approach this time of year with a strategy that will take us through to January 4th with the least amount of stress possible.
How do you approach your Holiday Plan?
1. Look at the calendar. Try to accurately assess the amount of time you’ll have for your personal writing pursuits in the next month.
2. Divide that in half, and assume that’s how much time you’ll realistically have.
3. Set reasonable goals. Is it a word count? Is it simply to have a certain amount of time each week to enjoy writing, without having an expectation of results? A good goal for some people is “I will put away my WIP until January 4th, at which time I will come at it with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of energy.” The key is to set goals that are completely attainable given your life circumstance.
4. Make a plan of action. Schedule the writing time on your calendar, or alternatively, put Post-It notes on your desk or bathroom mirror reminding yourself of your writing hiatus.
5. Decide what you need to cut back. If you’re contracted for a book or article, and you have deadlines during the holidays or immediately after, then your Holiday Plan is even more important. You may need to cut back on some activities, or delegate more of your usual holiday tasks—cooking, cleaning, decorating, shopping.
6. Call in the reinforcements. Be realistic about whether you’ll need help to meet your goals. Do you need a babysitter? Do you need your spouse or older kids to take over some of the cooking or shopping? Do you need to solicit the help of extended family in making the holiday more manageable? Now is the time to think about it.
7. Avoid magical thinking. Don’t go into this season simply assuming that “somehow” you’ll get it all done. Make a plan!
You want to go into the holiday season with realistic expectations about what you can accomplish. The holidays are stressful enough without adding to it with impractical goals!
Tell us about your Holiday Plan. How will you handle the balance between your work and your life? What are your goals? Put your plans in writing and share them here!
We will see you here at the blog on Monday.
P.S. I usually avoid obvious promotion here, but one of our Books & Such clients has a book that is incredibly helpful at this time of year: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas by Kathi Lipp.
Writers, do you have a plan to get through the holidays? Click to Tweet.
Enjoy the magic of the holidays – but avoid magical thinking! Click to Tweet.