‘Tis the season to be…overwhelmed?
Holidays for anyone can be tough. Holidays for writers can be especially challenging!
– We want to enjoy the festivities and celebrate, give gifts and perhaps travel to be with our families…
– We want to entertain friends and family without too much stress or resentment…
– We want to walk through the season energized, happy-hearted and present, but we find ourselves worn-out and angry sometimes because in the rush to “do it right!” or be there for others, we’ve lost that tender through-line that connects us to our creative voice, our emotional truth and the precious resonance that enables us to feel and work on our stories-in-progress even when we’re far from our writing desks.
Let’s talk about how to change all that. Here are 3 simple tips to help you OWN your holidays…and write:
Tip #1 — Self Care? It’s NOT Optional.
More than ever, during the holidays you need to feel good in your body. Resist the temptation to slack off on your workouts or lose too much sleep. Eat before you go to parties, if you’re someone who has a bit too much fun at the buffet table or bar. Do something kind for yourself, too, like treating yourself to a long bath or a massage at least once in December.
You’re not just a bobblehead, dear writer! Treat that body of yours with delight and kindness, and you’ll have more energy (and alertness) to write.
Tip #2 — Remember That You’re Always Choosing.
I’m a class parent for my daughter’s first-grade class this year. I’m happy to serve the school community this way, but last night…I got a call.
One of those calls. “Please call the families in the class and….”
It just so happens that the day I’m writing this, I have 3 big projects due. And (so it feels!) notime to call 15 families and help coordinate volunteers for a seasonal celebration at the school.
At first I got annoyed at the caller (who’s nothing but a selfless schoolteacher and dear person, at that)!
Then I got annoyed at myself for thinking I could take this duty on, given my full-time coaching practice, my family and my emerging music career.
Want to know how I moved through annoyance to a state of happy, inspired action?
First, I got a good night’s sleep.
Then, I remembered that I CHOSE this….
– I chose to serve my school this year.
– I’m choosing to help create a beautiful event for my daughter and her schoolmates.
– I’m choosing to learn how to collaborate. Take directions. And delegate!
I reached out to a colleague for help and today I get to call up families in our class.
I “get to” because I remembered that I made a choice.
If you’re bogged down by holiday travel plans, a social obligation or a shopping list…take a moment reframe things for yourself:
- I’ve made a choice to…travel / gift / party / entertain.
- I’m making a choice.
Most of the time, no one is making you do the stuff you resent. If you’re really honest with yourself, you can see that, in some way, you’ve agreed to it.
Remember this powerful tool for instant relief from a bah-humbug “victim” mindset!
Tip #3 — No Writing? No Way.
There are lots of ways to write during the holidays.
Your writing time may not look like the extended, thoughtful hours you’re used to.
But you can still write, no matter how busy you are.
There’s not enough room here to share with you all the “stay writing” strategies I share with my private coaching clients.
But I can share one of my most effective (and fun!) tips with you here:
A. If the holidays overwhelm you, let go of trying to move your book or project forward in any substantial way.
B. Focus instead on seeing yourself successful if you simply manage to “play” on the page every day. Remember that sustaining your connection to your intuition and creative voice is no small accomplishment…especially when you’re super-busy with the holidays!
C. Structure your “play sessions” with a simple list of 10-minute writing prompts. (You can write your own or find ideas from your favorite writing books or websites.)
D. Keep your writing supplies ready and available: have fresh paper and your favorite pen out on the desk; put your writing prompts list in plain view.
I’m not saying that writing during the holidays is always easy. But I am saying that it can be done.
And that if you’re willing to look at the way you’re using your body, your thoughts and your writing time…you can own your holidays and write, with ease.
Have fun with this and let me know how things go for you!
One last tip —
Remember that a happy writer is a happier person.
And happier people have a better chance to enjoy — and really be present for — the holidays.
My warmest wishes to you and yours.
(Now set a timer for 10 minutes and go play on the page!)
Are you ready to take charge of your life and create a fulfilling writing career…from the inside-out? Happy to talk with you. Click here to schedule a complimentary 45-minute coaching consultation.