Writing during the holidays can be on of the toughest things. Everything tends to go crazy with schedules around the holidays: food, travel, shopping, family, and more all pile in to fill up every spare second of life. Trying to make the time to write during the season can drive you out of your mind. In fact, one of the things I both love and hate about NaNoWriMo is that it happens in November right on top of Thanksgiving in America.
Thanksgiving is the big holiday in my family. We make a point to all travel to meet up and spend the holiday together so there's a lot of chaos in the month of November in my life. Having NaNoWriMo on top of it sometimes feels like the straw that will break the camel's back. On the other hand though, I love that Nano forces you to think about a holiday in terms of 'how can I get in my words' instead of just shrugging and saying 'oh well.'
Because outside of November that's how life works too. If you don't fight for your time to write, the rest of life will swallow it up without you even noticing. That one hour of Netflix turns into a binge watch, turns into two weeks of no writing but you've seen all of Doctor Who and M*A*SH. So what are some tips for writing when life gets crazy?
1. Write first.
Get up early and write before you do anything else. If writing happens in the morning then the rest of the day can turn to chaos and you still got your words down. For night owls this could be write last but I really find that if you wait, writing is easy to slide off your plate for the day.
Seriously, type away on your phone in the bathroom and email the words to yourself to put together later. Hide in the car, your bedroom, wherever. Five minutes here and there can make a world of difference if you're diligent.
3. Make use of traveling
If you're not driving, then try to write in the car, bus, or plane. There is a lot of dead time during traveling and you can really get a lot done if you put your mind to it. It's esepcially helpful since you can't access the internet as frequently while traveling. For me this one is a no go since I get car sick if I try to write so I listen to music that inspires me while I travel and spend a lot of time mentally plotting things out.
4. Ask for it.
If you have a supportive family or partner, ask for the time. Explain you need just one hour a day (or however long) to do your writing and then you will be there. Then do it.
Not great advice but sometimes other things take over that time. Spending time with rarely seen loved ones can require sacrificing your writing time. As long as you do it consciously and with a plan, it's okay to take the holidays off. Really.