5 ways to keep on writing over the holidays

Shirley Holder Platt

by Shirley Holder Platt

Holiday stories make for some of the best—and bestselling—books. Their authors have tapped into a gold mine, because everyone can relate to the slate of emotions, the stress, the tug of family, the loneliness of having no one, the temptation to overindulge, and the wonder in the eyes of children. Because we can easily get caught up in the whirlwind of activities that threaten to swamp us all, it’s an easy time to let good habits slip.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are five ideas to help you stay on track as a writer during this busy season:

Tip #1. Find fifteen minute breaks and write as many words as you can in that amount of time. You may be surprised at how much you can get done this way. Or write during commercial breaks while watching television. The words will add up quickly.

Tip #2. Consider dictating parts of your story while running errands. I’ve been known to dictate a long text message that I never send. I simply leave the words unsent until I am somewhere that allows me to copy and paste them into the draft of a novel or short story. No special software required. No ideas forgotten.


Don’t let crazy relatives get to you—instead, make them into new and interesting characters for some of your upcoming stories.


Tip #3. Use the holiday decorating frenzy to fill your creative well. Take pictures of great ideas you see. Some of them may serve as fodder when your muse seems to be off visiting relatives in la la land.

Tip #4. Have crazy relatives? Instead of letting them get to you, write down their antics and you’ll only have to make minor changes to have new and interesting characters for upcoming stories.

Tip #5. If you travel, take note of the changing scenery. Do the clouds look different? Describe them in words. Are there unfamiliar smells? Try to capture the essence for later recall. New foods? Describing taste is a great exercise. Feeling weary from waiting in an airport for a delayed flight? People-watching will fill a journal quickly.

The gist of it is to use your time and experiences during the holidays to bolster your writing career. You will be presented with myriad opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open for them. You may find obstacles falling away, only to be replaced by ideas that boost your energy level.

However you spend the time, I wish you a happy and productive holiday season.

Shirley Holder Platt is the author of five romance novels and one chick lit novel. Her book-in-progress, Mama Needs New Shoes, won the October 2018 Most Buzz Award, and several of her now-published novels appeared first on ChapterBuzz.

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