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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, November 26, 2007

Write Through The Holidays

Originally posted by Charity Tahmaseb in December 2006

Bridget Stuart has a tongue-in-cheek take on writing through the holidays over at the Wet Noodle Posse ezine. But seriously, can you write and still enjoy the holidays? Or even more importantly, can you write and give your house the über-cleaning it needs before relatives descend on you for the holidays? (The latter is actually my question.)

There are three things you can do to make a little writing progress during the holiday season: steal, compost and fill.

Get up from the computer, put laundry in. Get son to do his homework and practice violin. Listen for the umpteenth time to his rendition of Merrily We Roll Along.

Steal. Steal a little time at the right time. Heading out for a shopping trip? Make your first (not last, you’ll be too tired) stop the library or café. Take a notebook, drink your favorite hot beverage, and write. Alternately, steal quiet time at home. One of my favorite things to do is wake up early and write by the light of the Christmas tree. I have the house, my thoughts, and the tree all to myself.

Scrub whatever that is on the bathroom floor. Don’t ask. You simply don’t want to know what that substance is. Ponder the financial feasibility of a cleaning service. Food’s overrated, isn’t it?

Compost. All stories (and writers) need a little downtime. Got a plot problem? Pondering character motivation? Write the question down in a notebook or word processing file, then go about your tasks for the day. When inspiration strikes, say in the middle of scrubbing toilets, take a quick break to jot down the notes.

Wrap present for birthday party. Bumper bowling. With four year olds. Do deep breathing and mentally prepare for that experience. Get directions from Map Quest.

Fill. Don’t feel guilty for enjoying all the season has to offer. Combine family time with filling the creative well. Take in a live performance of the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. Or during holiday shopping drudgery into an experience. Check Anno’s Place for a lovely description of the perfect Christmas shopping day.

Redistribute ornaments so they cover more than the lower two thirds of the tree. Convince kids that the Happy Meal ornaments look great on the backside of the tree. But the homemade ones? Those look best front and center.

As I said last January, I’m a big fan of Anne Lamott’s one inch picture frame, or what I call writing the 250. Whatever method you use, a little writing goes a long way. If you wrote 250 words per day until the end of the month, you’d head into the New Year up 5,250 words.

Words for this blog entry stolen in between laundry, ornaments, and whatever that was on the bathroom floor.

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At 6:57 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Great post, especially the 250 a day. Just a little bit, to keep in the groove. We ought to be able to handle that, right?

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Charity said...

Thanks, Gillian. What's funny is I barely remember writing this post last year. It was a complete surprise when I saw it re-posted yesterday.

And I swear by the 250.


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