The holidays are in full swing and, if you’re like me, you’re trying to balance being an authorpreneur along with everything else that goes hand in hand with the most wonderful time of the year. No matter how long your holiday to-do list is, if you’re not prepared for the storm, your tidy, organized writing schedule is in serious danger of being snowed under. Following these three simple tips can help you survive the holidays as a writer, even with Santa banging down your door.
Allow for some flexibility
Even without factoring in writing, everything is hectic this time of year. While you should do all you can to keep your writing habits in tact over the holidays, remember that you’re going to have to work around a lot of things (shopping, parties, etc.) that don’t normally impact your writing schedule. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to train yourself to write in the cracks. The less stipulations you place around your writing zone, the more productive you’ll be. Right now, I’ve got a manuscript with an editor, am going through the rough draft of another and preparing to publish the first installment of a serial all at the same time. I’d never get anything done if I waited for two hours of revision time to come along.
Give yourself a break
No, seriously. Planning and attending parties, shopping and making fruitcake is stressful enough on its own. On top of that, you may have just finished NaNoWriMo as well. Unless you’re Mr. Scrooge himself, there will be days when there’s just too much going on to hit your wordcount. That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with closing the laptop, kicking your feet up by the fire and reading a good book or watching a Christmas special. If you feel like you’re slacking, just remember that inspiration comes from everywhere, in all shapes and sizes. Despite what you may think, one day off here and there won’t make a bit of difference. Avoiding the second mistake is what really matters.
Share your talents
Two years ago, I gave my parents a rough draft of my first novel for Christmas (don’t worry, they got other stuff too). I released that book, Out of Exile, the week before Thanksgiving last year. Although I was proud of it, I still had a hard time giving permission to call myself a writer, and didn’t really talk about it too much. Even so, the word got out and my co-workers and family wanted to know about this secret endeavor of mine that had just come to light. Although I wouldn’t recommend trying to sell spare copies of your latest book at your work party, the holidays are a great time to share your passions with family and friends. Your writing can also be a special, one-of-a-kind gift to your loved ones.
Do you have any tips for surviving the holidays as a writer? If so, tell us below!
Derek Alan Siddoway ( D_Sidd) always thought he wanted to be a paperback writer. Instead, he broke into the self-publishing world in 2013 when he realized there had to be a better use of his time than writing queries to agents. Converted by the fellowship of indie authors, he never looked back. Now, he’s the Founding Father of Undaunted Publishing, a hybrid publishing house combining the best of traditional and self publishing, and the author of Teutevar Saga, an epic/historical fantasy series with a “medieval western” twist. Learn more at derekalansiddoway.com.