Writing through the holidays

Dec 8, 2020 | Better Writing

Thanks to COVID, there won’t be as many holiday gatherings as usual. But there’s still a lot to do, and the holidays can be stressful. If you’re working on a book, you’ve already added extra work to your life. Now you must get through the holidays.

You’ve got to do whatever shopping you’re going to do. You’re probably going to do some decorating. There will be get-togethers, in-person ones and virtual ones.

You’re most likely to enjoy the holidays if you lean into the chaos and craziness. Cut yourself a little slack. Find things to enjoy.

Writing Routines and Rhythms

Most of my clients establish a regular writing rhythm. Some of them work on Saturday mornings or another time during the weekend. Some of them work at regular times during the week. That rhythm is important. It’s where momentum and consistency come from.

Maintain your normal routines so you maintain your writing rhythm. Don’t be a jerk about it, though. During the holidays, you should make some adjustments. Accept it, roll with it, and things will be easier for you and everyone within earshot.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

The holidays can be stressful at the best of times. You love Uncle John and he’s coming to Christmas dinner. But John smokes cigars. Your spouse doesn’t like it. “If John lights up a cigar in this house, I swear to God I will hit him in the face with a frying pan.”

COVID makes things worse. Two friends of mine would like to see their son for Christmas. Alas, he’s a physician working in a state that would require them to quarantine for 14 days. Maybe they’ll be able to work it out, but it’s one more bit of stress.

You can’t do anything about those stressors, but you can take it as easy as you can. You can find things to enjoy. You can avoid being a cause of stress.


Holidays add things to do.

Holidays add more stress.

Maintain your writing rhythms, but don’t be a jerk about it.

Cut yourself some slack.

Find things to enjoy.

Don’t cause stress.

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