Finding Time to Write in the Midst of Christmas Madness

How do you find time for writing when you’re knee deep in wrapping paper and eggnog? Not an easy task, I’ll admit, especially if you’ve added a bit of spice. Okay, I confess, I hate eggnog, even the spiced kind. I prefer wine  with my wrapping.

Between the middle of October and January 2nd, finding time dedicated, specifically, to write is like chasing ghosts on Halloween. Like the ghosts, time slips right through our fingers, especially during the Christmas season.

So, in the midst of the madness, here are my tips on how to find that elusive time to write.

  1. Change your expectations. This is a big one for me. Every time I think I’ve set aside time  to write, something or someone intervenes. It’s usually my retired husband, but that’s another topic.
  2. Keep a notebook or pad with you.  I find if I don’t write those sudden flashes of inspiration down when they come, they’re gone. Memory these days is as elusive as time. images-5
  3. Get up early. I’m an early riser. By the time 5:30 AM rolls around I’m up and having a cup of coffee. Those hours when, even,  the birds are still asleep are some of my most productive.
  4. Stay up late. Even 30 minutes makes a difference. The only problem I’ve found with the late hour, is staying up too long, but sometimes you have to follow the character.
  5. Plan ahead and make a to-do list. I’m talking about the Christmas menu, shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating and house chores. Making lists will help prioritize and free up spaces of time you can use to write. In addition, plan blog posts or other writing assignments ahead of time and schedule them to go out during the season. I’ve always relied on lists and at this time of year, having one is essential to my mental health.
  6. Think outside of the box. Instead of spending hours wrapping presents, have the store wrap them or do as I did. Buy decorative boxes and gift bags. They are beautiful and take a lot less time. IMG_1228
  7. Utilize short spurts of time.  At home I leave my laptop open to my current project and in between tasks, I write. I may only have  5 minutes or 30, but it’s surprising how many words one can  write in a short spurt of time.
  8. Give time to your family.  This may sound counterproductive, however, the Christmas season is a special time for families. It’s the one time of year, I think we should be willing to plan ahead, lay our pens down, extend our arms, and give full attention to our loved ones.

To all my readers and fellow bloggers, I wish for you, time to write, and a very Merry Christmas.

I’d love to hear your comments. Tell me your story. And as always, you can find me on Facebook at SheilaMGoodPinterestBloglovinContently, and Twitter@sheilagood. Say hello and pass it on.

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Well, Hells Bells

well_hells_bells_throw_pillow  If you’ve noticed I haven’t been as active in the Cow Pasture the last few weeks and the only excuse I can give you is, it’s been one heck of a month.

October arrived and  my muse took a hike.  Halloween brought enough candy to put my whole street in a sugar coma. And, right before I spent three straight days cooking a Thanksgiving meal, for twenty plus people, I broke my toe. IMG_1138

I gotta tell you, lugging around a big black orthopedic boot is a pain (no pun intended). It’ll throw your hip outta whack in a skinny minute! Not to mention screw with your holiday attire. There’s just no way to look sexy wearing a one-legged,  open-toed, platform, orthopedic, boot.

This time of year brings no rest for the wicked, infirmed, or plain ole’ tired and writing always takes a hit. Whoever decided to have #NaNoWriMo during the month of November, is as crazy as the people camping out for 12 hours, in the cold, at Toys r’ Us on Black Thursday.  I mean, really? images-14

For the record, I didn’t take part in the Black Thursday-Friday madness. Limping around in an orthopedic boot in a mass of crazed shoppers was as appealing as water torture.

Something’s gotta be wrong with people leaving a table spread with goodies to join a bunch of crazy shoppers.  What’s wrong with staying home, lingering at the table (with a glass of wine or two) and engaging in conversation with each other? There’s a novel thought.

Of course, I’ll admit it’s easy for me to say this year; I’m ahead of the curve. Every last Christmas present is purchased and ready to go under the tree.  Ebates and Amazon are my new best friends. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. In this case, a broken toe leads to online shopping. I may never step foot into a store, again. But, seriously can’t we slow down this speeding train of time and just talk?  The world might be a better place if we did.

But, who am I kidding? The art of conversation has gone out the window with bell bottom jeans and hippy hair. Talking? What’s that? 

Speaking of which, I sent my daughter a lovely message the other night (yeah, via text). Conversing is too taxing for her. The holidays sometimes put me in a reflective mood. So, I sent her a note expressing my love and pride for all she’s accomplished.

Her response? “Is this a suicide text? Well, it’s rude to send a suicide letter via text. Handwritten is preferred.”

The world has gone crazy, indeed.

Perhaps, the best I can do this year is to be thankful for the little things in life – a good laugh, orthopedic boots, and my iPhone.

 

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. And as always, you can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood, PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.