As our days begin to fill with concerts, school events, Christmas parties and social catch-ups it becomes harder and harder to maintain our writing time. And then there is all the organising for the festive season and present buying (for those of us who didn’t get in early).
Time with family and friends is important yet with this increase in social commitments you may notice it is harder to get the writing done that you would like. Last week I talked about goal setting and maintaining your momentum through to the end of the year, the festive season can make that difficult.
It is possible to enjoy the festive season and continue with your writing goals:
Make the time to write
With the shift in commitments it may be that the time you have available to write shifts as well. Available time might disappear or it may move to a different time of the day.
Re-evaluate your available time – when writing time could open up and how much. Can you create a little extra time?
Revisit and reset goals
Now that you have a clear idea of how much time you have available consider what you want to get done in that time.
- What is most important on your goal list?
- What would make the most impact?
- What would give you the most joy?
- What could you get finished?
Reprioritise your goals and focus on one goal first; you don’t have to give up everything.
Planning time in detail
It is not enough to have a list of what you want to achieve, link it with the time available by clearly planning out your writing sessions.
For each block of time write a plan for what you want to achieve. Make it clear and detailed so that when you sit down to work you know what you need to be doing. I find this helps greatly to use the time wisely. For example: a set hour during the lunch break – draft blog on Christmas impact on writing time. That would be enough to get me started. Or it may be: continue drafting scene with sisters for book 2.
Not everyone works in the same way, but I have found that with limited time the clearer my goals for a writing session the quicker I am able to settle into the writing flow and hence achieve more.
Guard your time
Let people know what you are doing, this includes family and friends.
If you reduce activities that readers are waiting on consider putting a notice out to your readers; for example, if you have a blog put a notice up that you are on leave or having a break and when you will be back. If you do this make sure you are ready for the return date, don’t leave your readers hanging.
I love this time of year, the hope and joy that Christmas brings. The family time and excuse to catch up with friends for a drink all in the name of Christmas cheer. But it can be busy, very busy and if, like me, you don’t want to put your writing life or goals on hold, there are options.
What do you do with your writing over the festive period and what tips do you have to keep the ink flowing?
Image courtesy of Anders Ruff Custom Designs, Flikr