Three Tips to Keep Writing During the Holidays (and a COMPEL Challenge and giveaways!)
by Tracie Miles
Happy Thanksgiving from COMPEL Training!
Can you believe the holidays are already upon us? It’s amazing how fast a year goes by!
If there’s one thing I know about the holiday season, it’s how easy it is to let our writing slip to the back burner. Even if we have every intention of jumping back into writing once the new year rolls around, either life keeps getting in the way or we feel out of practice and have no motivation to start again. Neither of these scenarios help us move forward with our writing dreams!
Knowing the holidays were approaching and that there are challenges all throughout the year, our current seven week live course at COMPEL is titled “Overcoming the Challenges Every Writer Faces” where every week there is a lesson on overcoming a common writing challenge. If you are not a COMPEL member, CLICK HERE to find out more about this course and consider joining COMPEL today to access all the teachings!
Below are three tips for pushing through with writing until year end. And be sure to check out our last 2018 COMPEL Training Challenge at the bottom of this post! Prizes galore!
1. DEVELOP SELF-DISCIPLINE
The holidays bring on lots of new responsibilities and obligations, like shopping, decorating, cooking, and entertaining. We typically stick to our commitments for holiday duties, but what about our commitment to write? Make your writing a priority this holiday season, even if you can only squeeze in fifteen minutes a day. Develop a specific routine for when you will write and put it on your calendar, then be sure to keep those appointments. If you’ve worked hard all year, don’t let the holidays derail your efforts!
2. WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE AND EXPERIENCE
This season of the year is packed full of new sights, sounds, smells, emotions and experiences. We think we won’t forget the details of life or holiday memories but the reality is that we all do! What brings our writing to life is showing, not telling, and that requires including details about what we are living out. Using the routine you’ve set for yourself, take time each day to write something about what you experienced or felt that day. Without worrying about grammar or punctuation, journal about your experiences throughout the holidays. Include all the big and little details, feelings and thoughts, sights and sounds. This is material you can use in future writing projects.
3. CRITIQUE OTHER PEOPLE’S WRITING
It can be challenging to come up with ideas to write about, especially during the holidays. On those days when it seems writer’s block has set in, do a google search for a topic that interests you. Click on several links to read articles or blog posts. As you read, think about what it is about the author’s writing style that was good or bad; what drew you in or caused you to lose interest? Was the writer telling you a story or showing you a story that made you feel like you were present. Consider writing up your thoughts about each piece, and once life settles down, use your reviews to critique your own writing styles and improve your craft.
Now for the challenge!
Leave a comment on the blog post about what your biggest writing challenge is during the holiday season or in general and what you will do to keep it from becoming a stumbling block going forward. Five winners will be randomly selected from all of the comments and receive some great resources to kick off the new year!
The giveaways include:
- Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence, by Sharon Jaynes
- Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story (bible study), by Angie Smith
- Thy Will Be Done: A Six-Week Devotional, a Proverbs 31 publication (multiple authors)
- Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures (book plus 6-week DVD teaching series), by Lynn Cowell
- Beautiful Leather Writing Journal
Please note: Everyone is encouraged to share their challenges in the comments! However only COMPEL Training members are eligible to win giveaways To join COMPEL or learn more about all the writing training courses that COMPEL offers, click here.