By: Terri Richison
Yea, it’s Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year. Also the busiest for a lot us. Parties to plan and/or attend; presents to buy and wrap; turkeys to fry or bake; the kids have programs and need costumes; it all adds up to stress, stress and more stress.
Maybe you have decided that you’ll just take the month off from writing and start back with renewed purpose after the first of the year. In spite of all the other demands on your time, I urge you to keep (or put) writing on your daily schedule. Make writing a priority! Even if it’s just one-hundred words a day. One-hundred words is just one long paragraph and takes about ten minutes. The first one-hundred words of this article are in bold print.
So, now you are thinking – that’s all? Why even bother?
Because the longer you go without writing, the easier it is to not write. One-hundred words a day keeps you actively involved in your story. It creates forward momentum. It maintains your daily habit.
Write first. Before you pay the bills, before you get ready for work, before you turn on the television, before you start the laundry, before you take a shower, before you make your bed – make writing the first thing you do each morning.
Not a morning person? Isolate yourself for ten minutes at lunch.
Lunch time doesn’t work for you – write on the bus.
You don’t ride the bus – write in the evening while the rest of family are catching up on sit-coms or doing homework. I have a friend who bought a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so she can still be physically present while her family is watching television, and now she is able to write without the guilt of being locked away in her office.
Write at night when everyone else in your house is asleep.
Put writing on your daily schedule, and stick to that schedule. Every day.
I don’t mean to over simplify; but I promise it doesn’t have to be complicated. Maybe none of these suggestions will work for you, but as soon as you make writing a priority, you will discover the right answer for you.
Now, let’s talk about those days that you have done everything in your power to sit down for ten minutes and write and it still didn’t happen — your daughter is sick, your toddler dumped the diaper pail in the toilet and flooded the house, your sister’s husband left her, your mother has a health crisis, your son wrecked the car … no matter how much we plan, regardless of how we prioritize writing – life is still going to happen. Don’t let it defeat you!
So you missed a day, or week or even a month. The best thing about being a writer is that whenever you are ready and able to return to your story – your story will still be there!
Enjoy the holidays. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Have you written today?
Terri Richison (writing as Terri Rich) lives in Clear Lake City, TX with her husband and a giant Great Dane (giant even by Great Dane standards). She is working on self-publishing women’s fiction and avoiding getting a pie in the face if she doesn’t produce pages for every critique session! PIES OR PAGES! Terri started telling stories almost as soon as she could talk – she learned everything she needed to know about storytelling at her grandmother’s knee. Craft however, is something she is still learning – those damn commas give me nightmares!