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GYWD #15: How to Survive the Holidays: Writer’s Edition

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Ah the holidays, that time of year where everyone’s plans to get things done meet the hard cold reality of holiday parties, endless hours at the shopping mall, and car trips to Grandma’s house. For writers, it’s hard to navigate between the temptation to hole up in your office and keep writing until it’s all over and the temptation to abandon all pretense at writing between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

In this week’s episode I discuss the challenges of writing at the holidays and offer a five-step approach to finding the balance that works for you.

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Transcript

Trevor Thrall  0:00  
Welcome to the Get your writing done Podcast. I’m Trevor Thrall, author of the 12 week year for writers. If you enjoy today’s episode, please submit a review wherever you get your podcasts that really helps. And for weekly updates on the podcast and other writing resources, you can subscribe to my newsletter, at GetYourWritingDone.com.

Ah the holidays, that time of year where everyone’s plans to get things done, meet the hard, cold reality of holiday parties, endless hours at the shopping mall, and car trips to grandma’s house. For writers, it’s hard to navigate between the temptation to hold up in your office and keep writing until it’s all over. And the temptation to abandon all pretense at writing between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. In this week’s episode, I discuss the challenges of writing at the holidays, and offer a five step approach to finding the balance that works for you.

The holidays are in full swing, I feel like I’m still digesting Thanksgiving dinner. It was fantastic. I hope yours was great too. But the holidays brings all sorts of challenges for writers. It’s a busy and sometimes very stressful time of the year, despite all the fun and family and friends that we get to enjoy. And so it’s worth talking about strategies for making it through the holidays sane, and relatively productive. If we can do that. 

Let me start with a story from my experience from just last year to illustrate the difficulties in getting this, right. So last year, I was working on the first draft of the manuscript for the 12 week year for writers. And unfortunately, my wife, myself and my middle son, all got COVID, around election day in November in 2020. And thankfully, we all had pretty modest cases of it. And all recovered at home without too much trouble. 

But unfortunately, you know, on the writing side, it demolished two whole weeks of work on my part. And I had to miss class a couple times and teaching and so I got behind on all sorts of stuff. And I didn’t write anything for several weeks, the book, thanks to the COVID episode. And so that put me right about at the Thanksgiving mark. And I was so anxious to keep moving on the manuscript, that I kind of bulldoze my way through the holidays, I not only kept to my normal schedule of writing, which was once a week, but I also carved out other times to write that I probably otherwise would have spent relaxing and doing other holiday sorts of things. 

Now, I didn’t work on Christmas Day or anything crazy like that. But I did work more than I probably normally would, over that time period in December and up through New Years. And between, probably between Thanksgiving and early January, I wrote, I don’t know four or five, chapters six, maybe even a lot, quite a lot. And, and then by January 8, or 10th, or something like that, I absolutely hit a brick wall. I was so burned out, because I had been writing but I hadn’t really let any of the holiday stuff go we had a full house kids and we were doing all sorts of fun stuff. And I didn’t really recharge as much as I probably should have. And so I I hit the wall in early January, and I spent sort of about five days, you know, staring at the wall watching paint dry and doing no writing at all, because I hadn’t gotten the balance quite right. 

And, I think is probably a fairly common story for people around the holidays. You know, the other way that you can do it, I’ve also done more what I might call instead of a bulldozer approach more of a butterfly approach where I’ll say, Okay, it’s the holidays, and I’m gonna, you know, I really relax and recharge. So I’m not gonna, you know, make any really big plans to get anything done over the holidays. 

But secretly in the back of my mind or out of the corner of my eye, what I’m really thinking is, but you know, I’ve there’s all this free time and you don’t have to put it down in a in a plan, but I’m probably going to be able to get a few things done. Just flitting from project to project time. That’s you know, different times a day different days. I write it down so it’s not, but but, but you know what happens when you do that? Yeah, nothing, nothing happens nothing. Never gets done, I might do a lot of things, but nothing really ever gets done. So, so I’ve tried the bulldozer approach. And I, I used to do the butterfly approach a lot before I sort of embraced the 12 week year. But neither of those approaches has ever been any good. And so I, you know, I wanted to think a little harder about how to how to strategize through the holiday period, I think the first thing that we need to do is we need to understand what the overall what the overall challenge is. 

And I think that the overall challenge is, is the art of balancing. And on the one hand, we have the need to rest and relax, we need to recharge at the end of the year. We also obviously have a desire to see family and friends, to engage in activities at church, temple, or mosque, we have. And then And then also, very importantly, many of us also have obligations to family, friends, religious institutions, a lot of us are busy hosting, busy traveling, busy doing all sorts of stuff, there’s a lot of extra work around the holidays as well. And so you’re balancing those things on the one hand, so the holidays, dimension, with with your writing, and on the other hand, you have a desire to keep moving forward on your work in progress. You might also have a need, you might be on a deadline, you might have a need to keep moving forward at a certain pace. 

And, you know, many points in our writing journeys writers are also need to keep things moving not because they’re under a deadline. But also because sometimes getting stopped is really harmful to our sort of mental state, sometimes it’s really important to keep going emotionally on a writing project because sometimes progress can feel tenuous or fragile. And, and so keeping going is really sort of a really important thing, above and beyond all sorts of other stuff. 

So this balance is the overall mission trying to strike that balance so that you get enough of both things, enough of the things you need from your writing, but also enough of the things you need from from the holidays. And as I have learned, the dangers of not getting the balance right, are on the one hand, if you do too much Christmas, you you lose your mojo and your momentum on the writing. If you do too much writing you you miss out on on Christmas. 

And you know, sometime I’ll tell you the story of this one new assistant professor who excitedly came and told me when we saw each other after winter break that he had spent all of Christmas Day revising his dissertation, I was just sort of horrified to hear like, Man, I don’t think you did the holidays. Right, dude. Now that that’s his choice, you know, not judging, but just for me, that’d be crazy. But you know, if you do too much writing, right, you sort of Scrooge pic writer, you don’t get a, you don’t get a Christmas, you family wonders where you were whatever. 

And if you do too much of both, which I did last year, you end up burning out. So so getting the balance right is I think, important for us. And on top of that, I think, you know, it’s important because the holidays is actually a non trivial amount of the year, the holidays, if we just think about Thanksgiving through New Year’s, you know what happens every year. And it’s about, it’s about six weeks. And that’s, you know, six out of 52 weeks, that’s just about 12% of the year that’s like, it’s a it’s like a big tax on your writing here. If you don’t get anything done over those six weeks. That’s like giving away a lot of your time. 

And, you know, most people would say, Hey, if you could get a 12% improvement in something that’s, that’s really valuable. So finding a way to keep moving during the holidays, on the one hand, is a pretty big deal. But I think a bigger reason for figuring out how to grapple with the stresses and challenges of the holidays is that the holidays is really just a special case of life. Life is always throwing us pretty much the same kind of challenge. All the other things in life are competing with, you’re writing for your attention and your time and your your your energies. 

And so I think the holidays is a stress test, because it’s a bigger, stronger version of those things, then then many other things that we encounter, but I think if we can get our heads right, and figuring out how to do the holidays, then I think we might have a set of strategies that we can use other times as well. So So let’s use the holidays as a as a test bed for some strategies to to balance these things. So I think there are probably two big components of getting getting your holiday strategy sort of right in the first one I think is to, to figure out the, the how to honor your writing time vis a vis the holiday sort of pressures. 

And what I mean by that is that, you know, as I’ve sort of talked about before, in the book, I certainly discussed this. But most of the rest of the world doesn’t care about your writing very much. Maybe you have fans out there, and they’re waiting for your next book. And they certainly want you to work over the holidays, but your family doesn’t want you to work over the holidays, your spouse doesn’t want you to work over the holidays, your kids or your parents or grandparents or cousins, or your friends or, you know, whoever somebody is singing in a choir with the band, or none of them want you to work on your on your writing, they want you to come out and play. 

And they want you to come to another holiday party, they want you to go to the dance, they want you to the New Year’s party, you know, they want to have fun. And they don’t care about, you know, maybe in theory, they should, you know, they get it, that’s important to you, but they don’t care. Right, they want to they want to play. And so they’re always going to be asking for your time, regardless of the fact that you need some of that, too, right? And I think the special problem with the holidays, right is we may have strategies for the rest of the year. But come the holidays, the pressures are sort of like moral, you’re supposed to party with us at the holidays, you’re supposed to spend this day or that day in the following ways. These are the traditions, how dare you go against the traditions, right? All the wind generated by these traditions is blowing in one direction. And that’s the direction of don’t, right? Right. So, so it’s very easy for the world to to try to convince you not to write. And so what to think that does is put a lot of people in a frame of mind, where they are worried about what it says or means to take time to write. 

And also people often don’t feel like they deserve to take time to write or time to themselves. Because what that’s what it really is, you’re saying I’m more important than whatever it is that someone else wants me to do. And I think a lot of us have trouble with that. Right? And, and, and probably all of us have that trouble is just like, where do we draw the line. And, and some of us, you know, our practice that drawing the line, you know, pretty pretty strongly for ourselves, others, I think, give a lot. And, and I’m thinking especially here, I think this is a very gendered phenomenon. I think most women prefer their Oh, a wife and a mother, daughter in law, they feel very much judged by their performance at the holidays, if their hosting house has to be cleaned, the meals are great the kids are looked after whatever it is. And there are a lot of things to do at the holidays for people who run households. And and there’s a lot of judgment. 

And so it’s really hard for people to say no to any of these things. You have to buy old presents, you have to show up at all the parties, you have to have a new dress or you have to have a new whatever. So there’s a lot of expectation that we put on ourselves, and we frankly, put on other people. It’s very hard for people to say no to those things. But here’s the thing as writers No, you have to at some point, you have to say I can’t, I have to write. At some point, you have to be able to say no to some set of things, or else there’s no time left for your writing. So the holidays, like I said is an especially hard time for people to make that commitment. And to and to say to the rest of the world. Nope, I’m not doing it anymore. So I’m going to just say right off the bat that I appreciate how difficult that is. And one of the reasons I appreciate it is because my wife made a very big version of that.

Or, or rather, she had to make a big commitment to her writing when she went back to graduate school. So we had three little kids at the time, she went back to school, our youngest was just turned five, I think when she went back to grad school to get her PhD. And obviously, that’s going to be an incredibly time consuming thing to do. I’m an assistant professor at the time she’s doing this. So I’m writing a lot trying to get tenure, we’re busy. And we we sat down my wife and I before she went back and she said you know, I’m just we’re not going to be able to do things the same. Once I’m back in school, I’m going to be really busy. I’m not going to have time for all this stuff. The way we’ve done it in the past, so we have to change some things. Okay, right. Let’s talk about it. 

And so, you know, we did all sorts of things to kind of accommodate this, but one of the things we talked about was look, we’re gonna start saying no to some things that we used to say yes to and, and it’s gonna be hard because these are things Have people expect you to say yes to in our case, one of the things we started saying no to was doing Christmas the way we used to do it. So we lived in town with with most of our parents, not all of them, but most of them bought a family. 

And there’s a ton of presents, there’s a lot of driving around a Christmas, there’s a lot of stuff to do. And so, you know, my wife and I said, Look, we’re just we’re not going to do Christmas presents for everyone anymore. We’re just gonna, so I wrote a letter, I wrote a dorky Christmas poem, in a card and said, Hey, we’re buying carbon offsets for the whole family. And this is your card, because, you know, genies back in school and dad’s in charge. Trevor’s in charge of Christmas. Now, and this is all, this is all we have time for. I’m sure you can understand. 

And, you know, some people did, some people didn’t. But, you know, it was more important that genie have time to go back to school and do it right, than it was for us to buy people Christmas presents that, frankly, you know, they didn’t really need. And so we made that decision, we made a decision to stop doing as much social stuff, because we just didn’t have time, you know, to keep the house clean to have people over all the time, right? We just said, Okay, that’s it, we’re gonna make that we’re gonna honor our desire to get the writing done, and to get the PhD done, and over the various and sundry social things that people have come to expect. 

And, you know, did that sit well with everyone? Absolutely not. But it was our set of priorities. And that’s how we, that’s how we did it. So, you know, I’m not saying what the right answer is, what are the things you should be saying no, to or Yes to are? Just that I think, at the end of the day, we all need to say to ourselves, Hey, what are the things that I have to have? And what do I deserve, as me as a person to have and if you’re writing a book, for example, and it is very important to you, then you deserve to have time, all at all times of year to work on that book. And you know, how much, that’s another question. 

But you deserve to write that book. And so if that means that you say no to a holiday party, or you say no to traveling for Christmas, or whatever it might be, you know, you’re gonna need to make that decision where the balance is, but but at the end of the day, you need to figure out how to honor your writing in the face of all the holiday pressures. I think the second big thing we need to figure it out on the practical side of things, is how to create realistic holiday plans. 

And, you know, magic thinking, it’s a magical time of year. So it’s probably not surprising that magic thinking is so rife in our holiday plans. And I admit I’ve been, I’ve probably been worse than most people on this score, you know, I mean, my job, you know, requires that I write. And so I’m, I feel kind of constantly on deadline. And, you know, my classes usually end the first week of December, and then they don’t start up again till mid, or third week of January. And so I, I’m always looking at those six weeks, and there’s no class and I think all there’s no students, I’m going to get so much writing done.

But I ignore the fact in my brain when I’m getting excited about this, that this period of time includes Christmas, New Year’s, oh, you also forgot, despite the fact that you’re not teaching, there’s final exams to grade. And there’s PhD students that are gonna come out of the woodwork to bother you and things like that. And so what it looks like a blank six weeks, it’s not blank at all. It’s just it’s magic thinking. 

And so I like many of my colleagues have a stack of extra two dues that we have mentally parked in December and early January, that let’s face it, none of us have ever gotten to. And so I’m sure you have your own version of that. And and, you know, if you were, if you could, if you were able to kind of go back in time, and find all the things you thought you were going to do in December, and compare them to what you actually did in December. You know, my guess is that for most of us, those things don’t look, those things are very different. Let’s just put it that way. 

And so, so one of the things we need to figure out is, how much are we actually going to get done in in the month of December or in the six week period, roughly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s and, and you know, that that is why the 12 week year exists? Because when we are trying to forecast, we’re usually bad at it. And so we’re trying to limit how far into the future we are planning and trying to figure out our actions. But I do think that the six week period, and that’s like half a 12 week plan, right? 

And so, this six weeks is a big chunk of most people’s 12 week plans. And unless you’re careful, you’re going to overburden that plan. And so trying to figure it out what You’re really going to get done in those six weeks at the end of the year is a really important challenge. So how, how do we do this? Let me let me just sort of pivot now and sort of walk through what I think are sort of reasonable set of steps to help strategize your way through through the holidays, right. 

So our overall goal, remember, we’re trying to balance our writing with our holidays. And we are trying, at the same time to honor our writing in the face of the pressures from the rest of the world. While not gentle burning out by doing too much, and we’re trying to, you know, create realistic plans to help us do that. So I think the first thing that is probably the most useful to do before the holidays hit, if you’re listening to this might be later than optimal, but, but hey, I’m not that organized. So here, you’re getting it now, the first thing to do is to conduct a sort of a state of yourself assessment, as you’re, as you’re making your 12 week plan, or, in this case, as you’re considering the next few weeks.

You need to think about a few big things. Right? So where are you with your writing? How are you feeling about it? How is it going? Are you in a great place? Are you in a place where if you take a few weeks off, it’s going to be fine? Or are you in a place where you’re like, I’m, I’m just getting restarted? I can’t take a break right now or I will lose this precious momentum? Where are you with the writing? Right? That’s, that’s the first thing if you’re gonna honor your writing, you need to ask yourself, Where are you really with it? 

And then the second piece on the other side is, how are you feeling about the holidays? I know, the feelings run the gamut here, there’s a reason the bar is super crowded the day before Thanksgiving. And the week before Christmas, people are back visiting their families and they need a drink. So, you know, I’m sure like most people have all sorts of feelings about the holidays. There’s some great things about it. There’s some like, wow, you know, but also I don’t like these things. Are you do you need a lot of rest? Are you like burned out from a long year? I mean, you know, I think that was an extra thing for me last year is that we were just suffering through a pandemic. And, and I, you know, I was burned out from that, as well as everything else. And so I really needed a break at the holidays. And I didn’t give myself enough, I didn’t appreciate that enough. So and that’s because I didn’t sit down, you know, as I kind of approach that time of year to really ask myself, man, you just had to go in, you’ve just been surviving the pandemic, maybe you need a break nude, I could, I could have used that conversation. 

So have that conversation with yourself. And every year probably that balance is going to be a little different that you’re seeking some years, you’re going to be like Scrooge and you’re not going to want the holidays. And you’d be like, you know, I’m gonna write most of the time, and then I’m gonna, I’ll see it in the new year. Other years might be the other way around, like, you know what my writing can go on hold, I just finished something up. I’m not going to start a new project till January, I’m gonna take a few weeks off to just be me and enjoy the holiday spirit. Fantastic. No Wrong answer. No, right answer just what’s working for you? Right now. 

And so I think that combined with, you know, your sort of physical, spiritual, you know, physical, mental, emotional makeup, right? How you how you doing? Right, all those things kind of factor into what’s going to be the right strategy for you this year. Right. And so, so you’re taking your state of your self assessment, and, and you’re, you know, figure out what kind of year you want. Right. So that’s sort of step one. 

Step two, then is to make a realistic holiday writing plan. Right. And, and I sort of more specifically mean, weekly plans that are realistic for that six weeks, or four weeks, or whatever the amount is that you’re sort of trying to, you know, really make sure you dial in from a holiday perspective. And so I think there are a couple things here that we need to talk about in particular.

One is that you need to make sure that you have a realistic sense of how much time you’re going to have to write. Many of us are going to have different schedules during this six week period than our normal model weeks. I mean, at least two of these weeks have major holidays where people are off work, where you’re possibly traveling, or you’re possibly hosting, where you have commitments, undoubtedly, weekends as well, of course, during this time of year, so So you need to go through your schedule and make sure that you’re accounting for any changes and updates that you need to make, because this time of year is so different. 

So your writing schedule, number one, and related to that, of course, immediately is the goals that you’re setting. Because if you find out having just done this exercise with your schedule that you’re going to have two thirds or maybe only one half as much time to write, you’re going to need to reduce the amount that you think you’re going to get done by an equal portion. so that those two pieces are, are, I think, essential, if you’re going to come out of the holidays with having gotten, number one haven’t gotten anything done. But number two, not having disappointed yourself, because you thought you were going to get twice as much done as you actually did. Because I don’t know about you. But I especially don’t like that feeling. To me that is a is a not very good feeling to to have a plan on paper that says I’m going to get twice as much done as I end up getting done. That to me is demoralizing and not not fun. So that’s not a good Christmas present for me. Right? So. So we’re going to sort of conduct a state of ourselves assessment, we’re going to determine what kind of balance is right for us this year, we’re going to create realistic no magic thinking involved weekly plans, you know, based on your 12 week plan, maybe updated for a reality check. Or if you’re not a 12, week, year person, you know, whatever planning system you’re using. 

And then the next step is to execute your plan and stick to it. And that, for me has several sort of sub components that are worth talking about. The first is that, in order to make this balancing act work for many of us, we are in relationship with others, especially at this time of year. So very often, the first step in executing your plan is to let everyone else know about it, who matters in your life and to make whatever deals that you need to make and or warnings. So that you know you’re going to be able to do it. If you have a spouse that needs to know about how much you’re playing to right or your parents or your in laws or your friends or, you know, the club, you’re not going to go hang out with because you’re going to be busy or whatever it is, right, you need to let people know. 

And there’s two reasons for this. One is you got to warn people, if you’re not doing stuff that they normally expect you to do, you have to let them know why. And warn them that none of their appeals to you to come up to the bar and party are going to work because you’re going to be busy writing. And just repeat your mantra I can’t, I have to write. And the second reason is because when you communicate about your plans and your needs and your priorities with other people, they can help you. They can be champions for you, but they need to know what your plans are. 

So your spouse can be a champion for you. They your spouse can can tell your parents to beat it. If they’re bugging, they’re bugging you. And your spouse can say no, she really has to right? No, he has to get stuff done. He can’t be bothered right now. And but if they don’t know these things, right, and and even your friends, right, your friends probably don’t care that you want to write, but you know what, maybe they’ll help, right, maybe they’ll help. If you tell them that you’ve got to do it, and you have your burning on this thing. And this is a really critical time for you. Maybe they’ll be able to help, right. So that’s great. So first, make your deals. 

Second, is to be as specific as you can about the times in days that you’re going to write. And this is part of the weekly plan thing too, but I just sort of wanted to talk about it in terms of execution. One of the things that I have found about the holidays, is that if you don’t really anchor your plans to do non holiday things very firmly, they are very unlikely to happen. Because there are so many things that pop up during the holidays, that if you have an extra grocery trip here, oh, we forgot this present for somebody, you have another trip there. 

If you don’t, absolutely don’t anchor your writing schedule, you will find it obliterated. So you want to really be as clear as possible in your weekly plans when and where you’re going to write and the Where might be a problem. Unlike normal too, because you might have houseguests you might have you might be traveling. So you know, these are things to sort of think about because if you have to have a backup location, you know, hopefully you’ve got a good backup location. That’s that works for you. But you know, assembling your little kit, things that’s going to make you comfortable, maybe your noise cancelling headphones, whatever it is.

The third thing is having sort of told people what your plans are made those deals, figured out when and where you’re going to write. The next thing you then need to do and we’ll definitely need to do throughout the holidays is to defend your writing time from all the predators and there will be many Santa’s is going to come for your time. And he’s not taking no for an answer. But you have to tell him no. No calls. No, you know, and here’s the thing. Obviously, if someone drops an opportunity on you to do something amazing. You’re gonna do it right. I’m not saying I’m not offering laws and rules here. 

Strategies, right general guidelines, say no to the things that are not as important to you as your writing simple guideline. Right and it’s it’s something that should make sense and I’m just just trying to help support you, in your desire to get your writing done by telling you, hey, I believe in your writing, if you want to write, you should. And you should say no to anything that doesn’t sound like it’s as useful to you, or as interesting or as fun or good as your writing.

So feel free to say no to the extra holiday party, or making a bunch of cookies for, you know, Cookie Exchange, or whatever it might be. Those are all wonderful things, you know, for somebody else this year, maybe you’ll do that next year, say, Hey, can I take a raincheck? I’m finishing the draft of a novel, I’m sure you can understand, right? You don’t have to be rude about it, of course, you but you can tell him Look, I wish I could, I’m close to finishing a book, or I’m just launching this book project, when these ideas are buzzing in my head, they’re so loud, I need to get them on paper. I really just don’t have time to do that this year.

I’m sure most people are more polite than I am. So you’ll think of a better way to say it than I will. But there are all sorts of ways you can say these things without offending people. But letting them know, look, you know, I’d love to, but I got it. Right. Right. So defending is is huge. 

And then I’ll put in a plug for your weekly writing group, which if you don’t have one, you most definitely should. And one of the great benefits a group can have is being that champion in your ear. When you’re struggling mid December, and your mother in law is driving you nuts, or you, you know, just can’t go to another school, you know, concert, or whatever it is, that’s killing Yeah, your writing groups kind of understand, because they’re all going through the exact same thing at the exact same time as you are. And you guys are going to support each other, and lift each other up through the hard times through the holidays. And that’s going to be a huge boost. So listening to other writers tell you it’s okay to skip a holiday party that you don’t want to go to. So you can work on your novel, right, you’re going to be talking to a you’re going to be preaching to the choir. Right. So and that’s a good feeling. So definitely lean on your writing partners, your writing group for support. 

And then I think the last thing that I would suggest, as a strategy would be to try to enjoy the holidays. And we all again, have different feelings about the holidays. But I do think it’s important, not to whatever balance it is you’re striking is fine and dandy. No judgments there. Again, no right or wrong answers to me, it’s just what works for you this year. But if you’ve if you’ve sort of laid out a balance, and you have a plan, my suggestion is that misses for my own experience is that rather than try right, rather than to get greedy, and start eating into all your holiday time, with extra writing, right, what’s really going good, maybe I’ll just, you know, blow off something that I had planned to do for Christmas or whatever Hanukkah for New Years. All right, instead, right? Well, then I think I’m just gonna throw out there. 

It is really important to honor your need for rest and relaxation and recharging. I do think that that we’re almost programmed, you know, socially, obviously, like almost at a genetic level, to need a cyclical recharging. And I think the holiday period is crazy as a time as it is, there is something about engaging in the various rituals of the season, that helps our brains kind of, you know, recharge and kind of be ready for the new year. I mean, there’s kind of a, there’s something to that new year ritual, right, you’re bringing out the old you’re bringing the new, a sense of renewal and purpose. 

And I think if you, if you don’t give yourself some time for that, you can, you can burn out. But the other thing you can do is you can start not trusting your own schedule, right. So one of the reasons I love having a schedule is when it says write, I write, and when it doesn’t say write, I do other stuff. And, and I don’t worry about the writing. And the thing is that if you if you do that long enough, then you trust the plan. But if you don’t, if you if you don’t obey your plans, you won’t trust them. And so you won’t trust that you’re only going to write so much. You won’t trust that you can keep yourself from burning out if you don’t manage your time. And vice versa. If you don’t write enough, if you don’t fulfill your plan and write when it says write, you won’t trust that the plans can help you get your writing done. 

Sticking to whatever plan it is that you concoct, it might sound like sort of a doctrinaire approach to things but, but I think there’s a deeper purpose in doing that. And that’s saying, Look, I made my best plan. This is my best guess for how to do this, right? And if your guess about that changes, that’s fine. But you also do want to enjoy the holidays, right? So so not going crazy and overworking. When your plan says write for 10 hours a week, you know, I would, I would write for somewhere around 10 hours a week and don’t feel the need to write for 20 or 30 just to be a good writer or something like that right? Holidays are also for enjoying. 

Alright, I would be fascinated to hear what your experiences and strategies for writing at the holidays are. So feel free to email me. Drop me a line at Hello at ready to get your writing done that calm and tell me about those. 

And until next week. Happy writing and happy holidays.

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