Holiday Hell: Finding time to write
The holiday season is a time of year when many struggle to find the time and focus to write. Family gatherings, holiday parties, and other festive activities make it difficult to stay focused on your writing, and it’s all too easy to get distracted by the hustle and bustle of the season.
There’s auntie Pat who needs her sherry in take monitored. Fights over how long it takes to cook a turkey and trying not to tell the family member known for regifting that she’s given you what you gave her two years back. The price tag is still attached.
However, there are ways to avoid family interruptions and keep writing during the holiday season.
Set aside dedicated writing time each day. This can be first thing in the morning, before the family is awake, or late at night, after everyone has gone to bed. Whatever time works best for you, make sure to ‘protect’ a block of time each day that is just for writing, and let your family know that this time is off-limits for interruptions. If they ask questions tell them you’re obliged to write the book as community service and stay vague about your crime.
Find a quiet, private space to write. This could be a home office, a spare bedroom, or even a cosy nook in the corner of the living room – shaded by the Christmas tree. The important thing is to find some place where you can be alone and undisturbed, so that you can focus on your writing without being interrupted.
If you didn’t already, tell your wealthiest relative (or partner) you desperately need noise-cancelling headphones. Put them on to help you stay focused on your writing by piping white noise. They’re especially helpful if you are trying to write in a crowded or noisy space, such as a busy family home. Especially if there’s a sing song or a huge tiff around someone cheating at Monopoly.
Finally, be sure to communicate with your family about your writing goals and the importance of having uninterrupted writing time. Let them know that you are working on something important and that you need their support and understanding to be able to focus on your writing. By setting clear boundaries and communicating openly with your family, you can avoid interruptions and keep writing during the holiday season.