I’m sure you’re feeling the same way I am this holiday season: wishing that somehow there was more than 24/7 in a week to get everything done that needs doing.  It’s durn hard to fit day job, holiday shopping, your kid’s holiday play, office parties, sleeping and oh yeah, your writing career in 24 tiny hours.  But it is important to stay connected to your WIP, otherwise January will be spent flailing and trying to get your head back in the game.

Plus, we all have those raw NaNoWriMo pages to deal with.

Every year I struggle to keep momentum going forward, and after ten-plus years juggling multiple projects with real life, I’ve figured out what I need to do to stay in the writing game during busy times.  Maybe these tips will be helpful for you as you struggle to keep your head above water this holiday season.

 1. Carry around a hard copy of whatever chapter or scene you are working on.  
You will be surprised at the chunks of time you’ll find when you are in the least likely places.  Yesterday I worked through five pages while waiting at the dentist.  I also fiddle around with the draft during lunch now, when before the holidays I used lunch to detox.  I’m finding that even short sessions like that can help keep my characters present in my head despite the long list of holiday chores eager to crowd them out.

2. Set aside doable writing time each day.
And by doable I mean 10 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever you can manage to squeeze out, time that is completely devoted to your writing.  Twenty minutes here and there adds up.  You’ll be surprised.

3.  Don’t have room to schlep your WIP?  Carry around a notebook or digital recorder.  I’ve written skeletal dialogue scenes on the back of grocery receipts when I wished I had a notepad.  Now I never leave home without one.

4.  If it’s not gonna to happen, it’s not gonna happen. 
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to your WIP for one or two days.  Life will go on.  Just make an extra effort to hit it when you can.

What are some of the ways you find time to write during the holiday?  Share your tips with us in the comments. We are always eager to hear what works in real life.


About Kathleen Bolton

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber.