Dramaquill's All Things Writing

December 27, 2009

How do the holidays affect your writing habits?

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Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la…la la la la.

Still one of the biggest celebrated global holidays, it’s Christmastime all over the world and the festivities are upon us.  For many writers, this time of year not only brings good will, gift giving and a hope for peace on earth, but also a total disruption to their regular writing routine.

With families and friends getting together to visit or trips to see one another, December can be a tricky month for writers.  With the season there are presents to buy, gifts to wrap, cookies and treats to bake and decorating to do.  All this along with the regular routine of daily life can add up to little or no time to write.

How do the holidays affect your writing habits?

Here are a few little tips for getting through this festive season without sacrificing all of your writing time:

1.      Get up an hour earlier than usual and write before you start your day.

2.      Stay up an hour later if you are more creative in the evening hours.

3.      Keep a notebook or small recording device with you when you go
          shopping.  It’s amazing how much time you spend in lines just waiting.
          That makes for some extra time to jot down ideas, flesh out a character
          or perfect that query.

4.      Since you’re shopping anyway, take a break for a cup of hot chocolate
          and observe people around you.  You never know what great ideas
          might come from seeing an interesting character or hearing an unusual

5.      Subtract an hour a day from your normal TV viewing and instead of
          watching another re-run of National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation,
          use that time to write.

6.      While you are shopping, check out a bookstore and look for potential
          markets for some of your work.

7.      Schedule in your writing time along with everything else you have on
           your daily “to do” list.

8.      If you know you’ll be too pressed for time to do much writing during
          the holidays, spend extra time on your writing projects before the
          festivities even begin.

9.      Plan a visit to the library during a quiet afternoon.

10.    Keep notebooks all over the house.  You never know when you might
           have a moment to jot something down.

And there’s good news, too.

Publishers, editors and agents are also much busier with their personal celebrations at this time of year so things slow down considerably during the month of December.

But with the holidays also comes the start of a new year.  Make your resoluation to devote more time to writing, revising and subbing and maybe 2010 will be your most amazing writing year ever!

I’d love to hear from other writers who have neat little tricks to work in some writing time amongst all the chaos.


November 11, 2008

Serious Nano doubts?

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So, it’s November 11th and I finally did some character sketches and plot lines to kind of map out where I’d like to go with my new suspense novel.

But it’s November 11th and I haven’t written one word yet…yikes!  Now, I’m not making excuses but I’m moving my business to a new location and unfortunately that’s taking priority over my time at the moment.  So, instead of keeping my butt glued to my chair and my eyes riveted to my computer screen, I’ve been painting, packing, moving things, cleaning etc. etc.

I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who signed up for the big event and for whatever reasons just haven’t been able to actually get cracking on that book.  Life definitely can get in the way, can’t it!

So, am I giving up for this year?

Not on your life.

But it’s going to take some real dedication now to get myself anywhere near the 50,000 words.  Last year I only made about 36,000 so I’ve decided that first of all, I need to set a realistic goal.  I may not make the 50,000 and I’m okay with that.  (Well, not really – I’m very competitive).  So, I’m going to shoot for exceeding my 36,0000 words from last year by at least another thousand.  If I write 2100 words/day from now until the end of the month, I can conceivably do this.

So, here’s what I’m going to have to do to achieve my goals:

1.    Omit 1 hr. of wasted time every day (like TV or surfing or emails)

2.    Stay up an extra 30 minutes (I work well later at night)

3.    Bring my writing to work so that I can do it on unexpected breaks

4.    Get ready faster in the morning and snatch 30 minutes before I leave

5.    Focus…focus…focus

You can do it!

If you’re having serious Nano doubts, don’t give up.  Even some writing on your book manuscript will be better than none at all.  So go for it!  Let’s see what we can all accomplish by November 30th.

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