For most, the holidays season means traveling near and far, spending time with family, eating (perhaps too much) good food, sharing stories, and participating in that bit of controlled chaos that marks a true family reunion. So if you’re a writer, does this mean taking a break from working during this period?
But spending time with family doesn’t mean putting down the pen and pad (or perhaps the computer and keyboard, these days), it just means finding different times to write. What follows are 3 of my favorite times to write during the holidays.
In the morning, before the household wakes
One of my favorite times to write during the holidays is in the mornings, before the rest of the household wakes. I often stay with relatives when I travel during the holidays, and so I do not have the solitude or quiet of a hotel room (which, if you do, enjoy it and you probably don’t need to read this post!). Waking early in the mornings can often be worth it to have an hour or so of quiet time for writing. In households with small children, this might be tough, but even if you write a bit in your room before heading out to meet the rest of the family, you can exercise your brain and jot down some fresh ideas.
After lunchtime, while the household rests
Perhaps it’s just my family, but there’s usually a period of time after lunch, during the afternoon, where everyone is either relaxing or gathering themselves for the next activity. This is a perfect time to get a little writing done, and not feel like you’re being anti-social. You can either write in a common area, as long as you’re okay with the extraneous noise and activity – or you can head back down to your room or somewhere quieter and write until the family gathers again. This really works if you have young children (or older family members) who need naps. A two-hour nap window is a great time to get a bit of writing done!
Late at night, while the household falls asleep
This writing time comes with a warning, because oftentimes my holidays are filled with quite a lot of drinking – and so when nighttime actually comes, I often just want to crash. But if you don’t drink or are a night owl, then writing at night can also be a viable option for writing during the holidays. Writing at night is a good way to unwind and reflect over the day’s events, and in some households, late night can be much quieter than early morning, especially if you like to write in common areas of the house. And even if you’ve had a few drinks, as long as you promise yourself you’ll edit sober later, write away!
Regardless of when you choose to write, the point is you don’t have to avoid writing during the holidays just because you think there won’t be time. Of course, it’s also perfectly valid to use the holidays as a vacation from writing – but if you do get antsy and feel the need to do some work, you can always make time.
Have other times you write during the holidays? Let me know in the comments section!