Maximizing your writing time during the holidays

By Riley Amos Westbrook

I don't know about all of you, but the holidays can be a stressful time of year for all of us.
Dinners to go to, people to see, and that's not mentioning the financial side of things.

All of that can add up to one heck of a stressful situation. What can you do to maximize your writing time during the holidays? How do you keep people from calling you a shut in or hermit? These are some of the steps that I take, so I can keep up my writing.

1. Tell people you need personal space.

Believe it or not, sometimes a blunt answer is best. I see no reason why you can't take notes or plan a scene while doing your socializing. If something comes to you, take a second to write it down. If your friends and family are like mine, they already consider you to be a little crazy.

2. Use your phone or tablet to write!

I am so thankful for the time we live in. A lot of us carry these amazing devices in our hands, and we don't even realize their potential. My phone and tablet are slowly starting to replace all my other devices, just because of their ease of use. The portability of these electronics make it simple to write and take notes anywhere, and I do constantly.

I've now used my phone and tablet to write seven books, all while on the go! Could you imagine doing that ten years ago? Twenty? I know we had laptops, but I can carry my phone in my pants pocket.

These little devices are a godsend to those of us who tell stories. Don't forget to use them. If you have trouble writing quickly on a tablet's inline keyboard, there are a number of wireless keyboards/docks that can easily pair with your device. It can turn your tablet into a mini laptop if you need it.

3. This last piece of advice is going to sound counter-intuitive, but it isn't. Take the time to get away from the story and spend time with your loved ones.

This is always my favorite option. Don't think about your story. Don't stress over that plot point. Spend time with your family, and bask in their love.  In the long run, connecting with people will help you to understand people. Understanding people will help you write relatable characters. Getting away from your story can open up possibilities you never considered.

Our understanding of the world is central to the conflicts and characters of our story. So step back and get to know your world a little more, and you just might find your way past that plot point. Who knows, your biggest fan may already be there at the table.

The only thing that can keep you from writing is yourself, especially nowadays. Remember that as you join your family for a feast, use your time and your tools for the best advantage. After all, one never knows where inspiration will come from. Keep being awesome, and #SupportIndieAuthors.