Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | December 19, 2018

Writing … or on Holiday Hiatus?

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, wrapped presents

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

 

A question for my fellow writers: does anybody else have trouble finding time to write during the holiday season?

I don’t think I’m the only one. While searching for links for Author Chronicles‘ Top Picks Thursday posts, I’ve noticed that a number of bloggers have taken a break from posting this month, so I suspect other writers are also—like everyone else—short on time during the holiday season.

While life may get hectic and make finding a good chunk of time to write difficult at other times of the year, the period from a few weeks before Thanksgiving through Christmas is so busy for me that—although I manage to write blog posts and (usually) notes to include in holiday cards—I can rarely squeeze in time to work on my manuscript. From the moment I wake up, it’s go-go-go, do-do-do. I stay up late and am often too revved up to sleep when I do get to bed. When I do have a few minutes of down time, I’m so tired I can’t focus enough to write. [That’s my time for reading, although sometimes I’m too exhausted to even do that.]

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, Christmas cookies

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

I admit that, even without spending time on writing, I rarely (okay—never) get everything done in time for Christmas. Every year, something that I’d hoped to do—maybe baking Christmas cookies or attending a holiday event—invariably gets erased from my list. I just can’t do it all.

I used to feel guilty about that, but I finally recognized that beating myself up over what I couldn’t get done didn’t change anything; it just increased my stress and dimmed my joy in the holidays. I accepted that I’m not superwoman. I can’t get it all done. So, I take a holiday hiatus from writing, knowing I will get back into the rhythm of writing once the holidays are past.

Taking a holiday hiatus reduces my stress. It’s refreshing and freeing. I do what I can now, take joy in the wonder of the season, and look forward to getting back to writing after I’ve recovered from the holidays.

So if you’re a writer who can’t find the time to write every day during this busy season—especially you writers who are also working mothers (How do you even manage time to sleep?)—stop feeling guilty. Accept that you can’t do it all, and take a holiday hiatus. Read when you have the time, and nap when you can. Lighten up on yourself, and you’ll be fresh and ready to write with renewed vigor in the new year.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, holiday joy

Photo by Wout Vanacker on Unsplash

 

Enjoy your holidays! If you do try a break from writing, let me know how it works out for you.

 


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