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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, December 11, 2006

Write through the holidays

by Charity Tahmaseb

Bridget Stuart has a tongue-in-cheek take on writing through the holidays this month over at the Wet Noodle Posse ezine. But seriously, can you write and still enjoy the holidays? Or even more importantly, can you write and give your house the über-cleaning it needs before relatives descend on you for the holidays? (The latter is actually my question.)

There are three things you can do to make a little writing progress during the holiday season: steal, compost and fill.

Get up from the computer, put laundry in. Get son to do his homework and practice violin. Listen for the umpteenth time to his rendition of Merrily We Roll Along.

Steal. Steal a little time at the right time. Heading out for a shopping trip? Make your first (not last, you’ll be too tired) stop the library or café. Take a notebook, drink your favorite hot beverage, and write. Alternately, steal quiet time at home. One of my favorite things to do is wake up early and write by the light of the Christmas tree. I have the house, my thoughts, and the tree all to myself.

Scrub whatever that is on the bathroom floor. Don’t ask. You simply don’t want to know what that substance is. Ponder the financial feasibility of a cleaning service. Food’s overrated, isn’t it?

Compost. All stories (and writers) need a little downtime. Got a plot problem? Pondering character motivation? Write the question down in a notebook or word processing file, then go about your tasks for the day. When inspiration strikes, say in the middle of scrubbing toilets, take a quick break to jot down the notes.

Wrap present for birthday party. Bumper bowling. With four year olds. Do deep breathing and mentally prepare for that experience. Get directions from Map Quest.

Fill. Don’t feel guilty for enjoying all the season has to offer. Combine family time with filling the creative well. Take in a live performance of the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. Or during holiday shopping drudgery into an experience. Check Anno’s Place for a lovely description of the perfect Christmas shopping day.

Redistribute ornaments so they cover more than the lower two thirds of the tree. Convince kids that the Happy Meal ornaments look great on the backside of the tree. But the homemade ones? Those look best front and center.

As I said last January, I’m a big fan of Anne Lamott’s one inch picture frame, or what I call writing the 250. Whatever method you use, a little writing goes a long way. If you wrote 250 words per day until the end of the month, you’d head into the New Year up 5,250 words.

Words for this blog entry stolen in between laundry, ornaments, and whatever that was on the bathroom floor.


At 10:06 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Thanks for the reminders, Charity. I have to write through the holidays if I'm ever going to get this book mailed off. I'm a night owl, so I envy those of you who can get up early to write.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger bridget said...

LOL Charity! This is great! I can identify with all of it...and incremental writing sure does add up. How else could those of us who can't yet support ourselves writing full-time squeeze it all in?

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

As Karen said, good reminders (says she who needs to start some revisions tomorrow).


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