Monday, December 1, 2014

5 Tips to Stay Creative during a Busy Holiday Season

November and December are often hectic months for writers and their creative output because of three culprits: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve, and all of the preparations needed to make each culprit better than the previous year.

Although many writers, come December, suffer from PND, Post-NaNoWriMo Disorder, and decide to take a break from writing, the rest of us often struggle to stay creative while in the midst of a busy holiday season.

Below are five tips to keep your creative mojo thrumming while you deck the halls and ring in the new year!

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and Writing images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


REVAMP WRITING SPACE FOR THE NEW YEAR
Being creative doesn't necessarily mean writing until your hands hurt--though we always love new words for a story. This tip could be extremely helpful for those of you who participated in NaNoWriMo and need a break from writing but not a break from creativity. Take the month of December and revamp your writing space. Clean it. Declutter it. Add pops of color. Buy new writing utensils. Meditate in your space, imbuing it with positive vibes. Organize your writing goals to begin in the new year. We all know that atmosphere can be conducive to our emotions and actions. Create a beautiful, bright, active atmosphere that will spark beautiful, bright, and active writing!


KEEP WRITING UTENSILS NEARBY
This is a big one. You want to keep something nearby that will enable you to get story ideas down. While out buying last-minute Christmas gifts, you might have a brilliant idea for a story. Having pen and paper on hand can secure that idea. For the more digitally-inclined writers, having your phone, tablet, or a small recorder around can help capture story ideas and thoughts on the fly. No writer, especially when up to eyeballs with wrapping paper, masking tape, and gift tags, wants to be left with empty hands when a new idea or scene pops into the mind.


TAKE A WALK
A brisk walk benefits you healthwise (we all know how much food is packed on the body during holiday season), but beyond exercise, the walking gives your mind time to think. Why not start a walk with the intention to creatively think on a project you're currently working on? By the time you return home from the walk, you might be inspired and motivated to park before your computer and write.


FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Of course, this works beyond the holiday season, too, but it works great during the holidays when you find yourself so overwhelmed with decorations and gift buying and meal preparations and seasons greetings that writing a story (instead of a Christmas card) becomes the furthest thing from your mind. Hook up with your accountability partner (AP) now, each of you telling the other what you'd like to get done between now and the week after the first of January. Be reasonable and realistic. You know how much holiday work you have to do, so don't overtax yourself--but do keep creativity in your life. Make weekly check-ins with your AP to make sure the creative work is getting done.


BOOKEND YOUR DAY WITH CREATIVITY
I find that when I start my day with those activities that warm my heart and spirit, that ignite my passions, I am able to be more productive throughout the rest of the day. Likewise, when I end my day on those same activities, doing so not only puts me into a sweet sleep, but it also makes me anxious to start the new day. Use these first and last moments of your day to get in touch with your creativity.


How are you planning to stoke the creative fires during this busy holiday season?


Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator, whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her author website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment.

12 comments :

  1. Thanks for the tips, it's a tough time of year for staying creative!

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    1. You're welcome, Carrie. I find it difficult, too, which is why I had to write this to REMIND MYSELF!

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  2. The creative thing isn't a problem, Shon, but the productivity thing is ... I wish I could blame it on the season. Oh, BTW, my AP is spelled WIFE.

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    1. I totally understand the productive thing; I guess for me, if I have the time to be creative, then by default, the productivity will click in at some point. Tell WIFE to light a fire up under you! LOL

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  3. I've set some deadlines for myself and have three manuscripts with three different publishers that will be returned to me for editing. I hope I keep up.

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  4. Great tips. Really like the idea of organizing, clearing out, and getting the desk clean for the New Year's resolutions.

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    1. I'm working on that one now, Diana. It's hard for me to be creative when my space doesn't evoke creativity.

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  5. I'm not having company or traveling this holiday season, so I really have no excuses. I'm making a daily schedule with time for book promotion, writing, revising, and chilling in my easy chair with a great book. Reading puts me in the mood for writing.

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    1. Reading is definitely a good way to get into writing, Patricia. Wishing you a very productive month!

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  6. Great tips! May I have your permission to share the link to this article on LinkedIn? :)

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  7. Great tips, Shonell. I especially like "Take a Walk." I have gotten story ideas, or straightened out a plot snarl, on my morning walks. That has motivated me to get out and leash up the dog more than what is accumulating around my waistline.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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