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Finding time to write in the Christmas season

10 Dec
Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

No doubt you are all rushing around getting Christmas presents, wrapping them, going to Christmas parties or even holding a Christmas party, planning Christmas dinner including shopping for the Christmas bird. Then there will be all the Christmas Day family get togethers and afterwards the Boxing Day Sale. And don’t forget all those Christmas movies on TV.

Not that we all do all of these things. But Christmas can get us into quite a frenzy.

So, where and how with all of that going on, do you find time to write (or rewrite) that novel or short story (or short stories)?

It can be done, although with all that’s been happening at my end, it might be better to follow what I write here, rather  than what I do – at least until after this Friday.

Besides some of the above nonsense, I’ve had two dentist visits brought on by an emergency. Scratch two weekday afternoons to write my novel. Tomorrow afternoon I have to go the Christmas Market at Toronto’s Distillery. I used to go on weekends when that was the only time it was open. Now they are charging to get in on weekends. The $5 admission doesn’t bother me – it’s the long line-ups to get in weekends with tickets – you can buy them online.

A writer friend who lives in the area has let some of us writers know about those long lineups and the noise (well, she is living in the area – for those of us just visiting, we hopefully can tolerate the noise factor for a bit of time). Last year there were long line-ups to get in, but I snuck in another way around the corner and found it wasn’t as crowded as it seemed from outside the main entrance.

I doubt if I can do that this year – so I have to go on a weekday afternoon. Have to get my hand-crafted Christmas fudge (some of it becomes Christmas presents), and a few other things. It is also interesting to just look and absorb the old-fashioned Christmas market.

And hey, maybe it can be incorporated into a short story. Probably not the current novel I’m writing as my Beyond mystery series occur the end of the 1990s and into the millennium and the Distillery Christmas Market only started five years or so ago. But one can always fictionalize. And I do have this third Beyond book taking place in November and December.

So, besides using the incentive of your Christmas events to write, how can you make time to write?

Don’t set up times when you usually would write. Be creative. For example, I have made it a practice to take weekends off from writing (unless part of a workshop I’m attending). This Sunday afternoon I plan to write for a few hours. it’s going to rain anyway. That will take care of time taken off tomorrow afternoon for the Christmas market. Still haven’t worked in the time off for dental visits.

Also, you can just look at the time you actually have to spend with Christmas and Christmas-related stuff. Can you shorten, combine or delete some? And I don’t mean deleting the family Christmas dinner. But how many trips do you have to make to Christmas shop? Consider combining places to shop that are close together – if you just have to go in person. Or shop online. Or combine. Many places you can view the item online and pre-order it to have it ready for pick-up when you arrive at the store. I don’t recommend this latter one as it means you have to use a credit card and that means paying the piper in January or February depending on your credit card statement date.

There is another way – some stores (Canadian Tire is one) where you can search at their site for particular items. check them out and then go to the store’s branch online and see if the item is there (and how many) as well as what aisle they are in. Note: make sure you do this just before you leave or the item might be gone.

There are other shopping alternatives such as getting a lot of gift cards from one or two stores, using the old-fashioned catalogue shopping by phoning in your order from the print catalogue.

And record those Christmas movies on TV.

Just some suggestions for making time to write. Again, remember you don’t have to write in your usual time or day. We are creative writers and shouldn’t have problems creating time to write.

Just keep toes crossed there are no family and/or health emergencies. For the latter I have a writer friend, who was slightly injured in a car accident. Fortunately his laptop was not damaged, so he sat up in the gurney (even at the hospital) and wrote more of his latest short story.

That’s being creative.

What are your ideas for saving time at Christmas so you can write?

Cheers.

Sharon

The book cover at the top links to Beyond Blood on Amazon.com

 

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