Holiday Challenge: Writing Through December

What do many writers wish for in December?

Time to write. Support for their writing. Someone to cheer them on so they don’t give up during the wonderful holiday hub-bub.

I have two solutions for you this December. One is another challenge group. [See sign-up instructions at the bottom.] The other is a pair of fantastic articles on the subject.

Writers’ Holiday Survival

I want to point you to a couple of posts with suggestions for holiday survival in case you need and/or want to keep up your writing practice during December:

A Writer’s Holiday Survival Guide: Part One by Bess Weatherby  (Part 1)

And it’s seven in the morning on January 1st. You got a haircut. You’ve just been for a run. You still have an hour before work. You feel incredible. You sit down at your desk to write, because this is the year, and it starts now. And you realize you haven’t written in six weeks and barely remember how. We all know the feeling, the feeling of not having written in a while. The feeling of not knowing where to start. 

There are some great suggestions in this article for scaling back your writing, yet continuing a daily habit through the holidays. (NOTE: The challenge at the end of this post is designed to help you avoid this slump with our buddy system.)

A Writer’s Holiday Survival Guide: Part Two

I’d advise looking at the entire month of December this week. By now, you’ll already know your travel plans, most party dates and family events. You also know your goals. So you can see the blank spots in your calendar, and make a game plan. Just remember–go for achievable, not ambitious goals–you’re much more likely to stick to your schedule if it’s a feasible one!

December’s Holiday Writer Challenge

As readers of this blog, you know that we’ve had writing challenges in April, October and November. It’s no coincidence to me that those are the three months this year in which I accomplished the most writing. I even went over the 50,000-word goal at NaNoWriMo this morning.

And because I want to keep writing in December–and a couple of deadlines in 2014 demand it–I am going to run another challenge for the holidays. It will be scaled back, and it will be individual. In other words, YOU choose the goal you want to set for December. For myself, it will be two goals: (1) writing daily, even if it’s only for ten minutes, and (2) a weekly word count goal (undecided at the moment).

If you are interested in signing up for the challenge, email me at kristi.holl@gmail.com with “Holiday Challenge” as your subject line. In the body of the email, tell me the goal(s) you hope to attain by being part of the challenge. NOTE: I’d recommend reading the articles above before deciding on your goal for December. NOTE #2: The cut-off date for being added to the list is December 5.

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10 Responses to Holiday Challenge: Writing Through December

  1. Thanks for passing along these great links, Kristi. They provide great incentives to keep the writing going over the holidays, in spite of the temptation to take a break. ( especially liked the part where she suggested that we reward ourselves for the writing work we do. Yes!!)

    • kwpadmin says:

      I think her idea to cut back a bit was very wise. For December I am going to call it a good writing day when I write anything at all on my work-in-progress. I just want to keep the habit going! And yes, love those rewards!!! 8-)

  2. Alice says:

    The unstructured time of the holidays and summer is the hardest time for me to write. I can keep on track much better when I have a set schedule. I hope that having a support group will help me focus better this holiday season.

  3. Kim Fisch says:

    Thank you for doing this for the month of December, Kristi. I know I didn’t check in as often as I would have liked to for the NaNo challenge, but I did read a majority of the emails. They kept me pressing on.

    My goal for December is to complete the YA novel from NaNo and then once that is finished, I want to start revising it, but my main goal is to get it done!!!

    I’m not sure if I will have a word count to worry about, but I will be writing about two scenes a week. I plan to follow my usual writing schedule of getting up by five and writing for a few hours before work.

    Blessings~
    Kim Fisch

    • kwpadmin says:

      Sounds excellent, Kim! I want to finish my NaNo novel in December too and keep moving forward. We’ll both be glad in January that we did! :-)

  4. Vijaya says:

    Kristi, this is great advice. One of the interesting benefits of conversion to Catholicism has been in the writing area from the celebration of Advent. So now, I take stock near Dec. as the new liturgical year begins. It keeps me focused on all the important things — faith, family and writing. I’ve had deadlines in early Jan. and have managed to do my work and enjoy Christmas. The nice thing is that come January, I find it easier to keep those resolutions because I’ve already had a head-start thinking and working on them.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Oh, yes, Vijaya, that “head start” you mentioned is extremely valuable! As a society, we don’t do enough deep thinking, I’m guessing. Looking back…then looking forward… I hope our paths cross again somewhere this year!

  5. McCourt says:

    Just got back in town – please count me in! My fall semester at school is coming to a close and I am hoping to make good use of the Christmas break to work on my middle grade novel-in-progress. I think I’m more excited about Christmas break from school than even the kids :)

    I am going to try and persevere with my goal of at least 500 words a day (with the nifty 350 as a fall-back on days when holiday plans take over our regular schedule). I’m going to count any outlining I do on the story as part of my word count – since I’m working on improving that skill.

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