1 You know what’s fun to do while writing? Eat. Do that. This is a guilt-free segment of time in all aspects of the concept.
2. Pay attention to how you are feeling around this time of the year and use that to your advantage when working on a story or two. I always feel a mix of joy and sadness around the holidays, and I’ve written some pretty convincing emotional scenes over many Thanksgivings past.
3. Spend some time doing creative things that do not involve writing. The holidays are the perfect time to exercise your brain in different and fun ways — like playing games and getting creative in the kitchen.
4. And when you do write, don’t be afraid to work on something that “doesn’t matter.” By that I just mean give yourself the freedom to write whatever you want without worrying about whether or not it’s good or how long it’s going to take to finish it. Let your story go off the rails! Go nuts!
5. You should write because you want to, not because you have to. Don’t force it. If you need to use your time off and/or family time to rest, sleep in, go to bed early, spend time with the people you love, and recharge, then do that. At least for now, don’t treat writing like work. You deserve a break.
6. This is, however, a good opportunity to spend some time opening yourself up to potential ideas you may not have otherwise had the time or space to discover. Let your mind wander. Jot things down. Don’t worry about doing work, just store the ideas somewhere you will remember them.
7. You don’t “owe” anyone a detailed synopsis of what you are working on. Casual, polite conversation surrounding your work and your stories is fine, and if you want to talk about your ideas, you’re certainly welcome to do so. But you don’t have to, and shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t want to.
8. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting your family know about all the things you, a writer, would love to receive as a gift for the holidays. Receiving isn’t nearly as heartwarming as giving, but you know what’s great? Blank journals. New fancy pens. STARBUCKS GIFT CARDS. I could go on …
9. Also — be proud of your accomplishments, gosh darn it! If your family asks what you have been up to or someone mentions something cool you did or wrote and/or published, THIS IS YOUR MOMENT. Talk about it! You are so cool. Embrace it.
10. And hey. If you come from a family or have friends who just don’t “get it” don’t let their comments ruin your holiday. Be proud of your accomplishments and goals and progress even if you have to keep them to yourself.
11. The holidays are also a good time to set writing goals for the coming year. It’s a period of reflection, and chances are you will not only be thinking about what you did or didn’t do this year, but also what you want to do differently next year. Take advantage of it. Just don’t be like me and set 30 goals all to be accomplished in 365 days. That’s too many. Yes, there is such a thing. Trust me.
12. Have fun. At the end of the day, writing is work, but that doesn’t mean you should be in a constant state of misery while doing it. Take this time to remember how thankful you are for being able to tell so many stories, and if you can, share one with someone. They just might love it.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.