Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I don't know about you, but I can utilize this timely advice. 

Three Quick Ways to Write More…Even During the Holidays
   by Janet Butler

. Organize.
Write “to-do” lists for everything you can, even things you think you can keep track of without doing so.  No, this isn’t a “gag” piece of advice about “writing.” JThis technique will free up your mind to do creative activity, rather than trying to stay on top of the dozens of things we all have to take care of this time of year. Sometimes the most valuable “writing” work you can do in a day is prewriting, research, or the like; this kind of writing is just as valuable.

. Give yourself five minutes.
Many writing gurus will tell you, “If you want to write, sacrifice some sleep. Get up an extra hour earlier in the morning and write then.” But how many of us can reasonably do that for any sustained amount of time, especially around the added stresses and work of the holidays? Much better: Set your alarm clock five minutes earlier in the morning. Get yourself that little extra boost—not even necessarily to write as much as to give yourself a small “head start” on all the other things you need to do. Sometime during the day, you’ll find yourself with space to breathe, time to think…and that’s when and how some of our best story ideas come, in those spare moments when we don’t have to rush so much. Even five minutes, day by day, add up. A few minutes every day, a few lines—and when the holidays are done, you could have several pages added, or started on a new work. Not bad for still getting a full night’s sleep!

. Do double duty.
“What?” you’re probably thinking. “There aren’t two of me, and I don’t multitask well.” Not to worry.  “Double duty” is best accomplished by delegating work to others—but even if you have no one else to rely on for your holiday tasks, you can still make your time do double duty. Turn off the iPod or the music or the TV and let your mind write a scene or imagine a setting while you fold laundry. Have conversations with your characters over a sink of dishes. OR, flip that advice and be totally IN each moment of your preparations. Relish the sensations that come with being outdoors in crisp weather—even if you don’t live where it’s cold for the holidays, chances are you still see a change in your surroundings as Christmas and the New Year approach, and this is valuable sensory detail to import into your work.  And, with that extra five minutes you’ve given yourself…you can jot these details down.  

Yes…it all works together. Organization…stealing a few minutes here and there…making your “real life” do double duty for your story life…all tiny steps that don’t look like much, don’t sound like much, and don’t seem like much—until you realize you have been productive in your writing during the busiest time of the year, without sacrificing your sanity, your health, or any special holiday moments with your family.
That’s a gift any writer would love to unwrap!

Janet Butler will continue to provide monthly sessions in Chapter One's Writers Oasis
VOICE OF INNOCENCE, Desert Breeze Publishing
FROM THE ASHES, Astraea Press

Host and Coordinator (Writer's Oasis) 
Shirley M. Flanagan

Writers' Oasis
Writers Oasis is a resource for writers, published and unpublished, dedicated to the education and encouragement of its participants by bringing varied viewpoints on the craft and business of writing from quality sources. We do not evaluate agents, book companies, or companies and individuals involved in publishing. Writers must do the research themselves that allows for making prudent choices in these areas.

Writer's Oasis resides in AOL Chapter One and takes place Monday nights at 9:00 EST. 

1 comment:

Micki Peluso is the author of "And the Whippoorwill Sang" said...

Hi pat, This is a really informative and much needed article--I know I sure need it. Vist my blog--got a funny Christmas story up.