December 22nd, 2011 by Charlene Teglia
10 Ways to Have a Happy Writer Holiday Season

I love Christmas/Hannukah/Yule, whatever you call it, however you celebrate it, it’s time to let the kid inside out to play. And guess what? If you’re a writer, that’s a vital part of taking care of your creative self. But grownup responsibilities can overwhelm the fun, so here are 10 ways to help make the holiday season happy even for a writer on a deadline.

  1. Eat the Christmas cookies. If you love them, eat them, enjoy them, have them on pretty plates with tea or coffee or eggnog. They come once a year.
  2. Read your favorite holiday stories. I love Connie Willis’ Christmas tales especially, but there’s a world of choices out there. I read The Grinch to my kids yesterday and that never gets old.
  3. Watch your favorite Christmas movies. Make time.
  4. Call somebody.
  5. Write somebody.
  6. Play with your own kids or some in your extended family or friend circle. Busy parents will appreciate the gift of time to shop, bake or wrap unencumbered and the kid in you may enjoy playing with Playdoh, making snowmen, building with Legos, etc. more than you realize. I mean really, when was the last time you played?
  7. Schedule time when you can sneak off into your own world of words. When it’s on the schedule you don’t have to feel guilty about all the holiday/family things you are NOT doing. When work time is up, go be present for everybody else. But make time to be present for you and your writing world and don’t try to do both at the same time.
  8. You don’t actually have to spend all day in the kitchen to celebrate. Go out. Buy premade dishes from Costco. Holidays do not really have to mean a ton of extra work.
  9. Start getting ready early. If it’s too late for that this year, do it next year. Just like you figure out how many words/pages you need each day or week to not be pressured at the end, you figure out how early you need to shop to not end up overnighting everything at the last minute in a panicked rush at the postal annex. If you can’t face the stores on Black Friday, guess what; Saturday will bring the same deals and hardly any crowds.
  10. Remember that it isn’t merry for everybody. Kids in hospitals need books and toys and blankies, families in shelters need gifts and supplies, food banks need food. Check around your community to see how you can help out. Generosity and kindness make us better human beings and better writers.
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