Writing During the Holidays

2021 is officially coming to an end, and some of you may be panicking about setting “New Year’s Resolutions” for your author business. It can be daunting as you look over what you’ve accomplished this year and what you hope to accomplish for next year, but it can also be extremely exciting. I encourage you to lean into the excitement of the new year, rather than the fear of what comes next.


The holidays might be over, but the fun is just beginning. A new year gives you the chance to accomplish whatever you want, after all. For me, this time of the year comes with big goals for my writing, but I have to remind myself to make each of those goals realistic. I've found over the past few years that my biggest struggle is not the goals themselves, though. It is returning to my daily momentum that I established before the holiday.


So, let's talk about that struggle. Think about this: you've spent weeks on end planning and prepping for those big holiday dinners, making sure everyone has the perfect gift, and calling all those family members you haven't seen in a while to check in. It's been fun and you loved all the extra time with your loved ones, but if you're anything like me then you might not have had all the time in the world to write or work on your author business. Maybe those ads you set up before the holiday sales kicked off haven’t been updated in a while? Or the book you were working on writing so diligently is gathering figuratively or literally gathering dust?


That's okay! Family is important and so is your mental health. If you needed to take a break to survive the end of 2021, no one is going to blame you. And honestly, if they do, they are not worth your time of day!


Let’s get to the good part now, though.


Below you will find a few things that help me refocus after the holidays. I’m hoping they will help you out as well.


Organize your workspace so it is free of distractions


Does anyone else find that their office is a mess after the holiday season? I tend to wrap a lot of presents in my office and that can lead to clutter! As writers, we often joke that organizing our office is a way of procrastination, but in this case it helps. Having a clutter-free space will allow you to work more productively. You won’t be thinking of how messy your office is, or how you need to reorganize anything. You’ll just be able to sit down and write.


Set a schedule for writing


I realize scheduling one's writing isn't for everyone, so I will not be offended if you skip this step. However, I will say that if you're struggling to write and you've never tried scheduling time for your writing then you should at least give it a try. You never know, it might work for out for you! Personally, what works for me is getting up at 5am each morning to write & post to social media. This is hours before my spouse wakes up and hours before I must work at my day job. I can be more productive by allowing myself a few hours of focus. Obviously, my 5am schedule went out the window during the holidays, but now that the new year has started, I'm starting it up again. Again, I will not be offended if this just does not work for you. Everyone has a different lifestyle. One thing I think that helps is to be realistic about how much time you can spend on your writing during the week. Try to set yourself up for success.


Read a book from your genre


I'm sure I'm not the first author to tell you that you must read to be a successful writer, right? If I am, then I will say it one more time: you must read to be a successful writer. If you're stuck writing after the holidays, or even just in a general writing funk, I highly recommend picking up a book from your genre and just allowing yourself to enjoy the story! Remind yourself exactly why you started writing in the first place, and you'll be surprised what happens when you turn that last page.


Plan what you're going to write


Again, I realize some of you are probably cringing right now, but this blog post is about helping you get out of a funk so bear with me.


Planning can be tedious and draining on your creativity, especially if you're a pantser, but that doesn't mean you should throw the idea out the window. Planning varies from the simplest outline to a full-on chapter by chapter breakdown of your novel. You can choose. Personally, I don't like to plan too much of my novel in advance, but what I will do is jot down some general ideas, thoughts, and timelines, that might help. I also find that when I'm stuck, I can set a 10 to 15 minute timer on my phone (or an old fashioned kitchen timer if you're putting your phone in another room) and just write whatever comes to my mind in whatever format works for me in that moment (outline, paragraph, mind map, you decide!) It may not be the best thing I've ever written, in fact it's very likely not the best thing I've ever written, but the point is that I wrote something. Often those 10-15 minutes that I took to outline or brainstorm what I want to write will get my creativity flowing.


Find an accountability partner


An accountability partner is someone who you trust to remind you to write every day (or whatever schedule you are deciding to write). It's best for them to be another writer, because let's face it, only writers can really relate to what you're struggling with. If you’re a parent, maybe find another writer who has kids! That way you both understand the struggles you’re going through. Once you have someone keeping you accountable, you're a lot less likely to slack off. Plus, you can keep them accountable as well!


Even if you've heard these tips before, I hope you are able to take some motivation away from this today. We may be strangers, or we may be friends, but either way I believe in you. I believe you can write your story. Being a writer isn't easy, but that's why we have a community of support surrounding us.


Meet Skye Horn

Skye Horn is an American fantasy romance author and freelance editor. As a co-founder of The Writer Community, Skye works to inspire other writers to follow their dreams and share their stories, no matter what. She is obsessed with magic, myth, and epic romances.


Her best-selling debut series, Kingdoms of Faerie, is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.


You can connect with her on instagram as @skyehorn_author or find more information on her website, skyehorn.com

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