As a freelance writer, holidays have never been a big deal to me, perhaps because I often work right through them. But this year is different; last month I got a job coaching kids gymnastics on top of my freelance writing career. Oh yeah, and I’m still trying to write a novel during my diminishing spare time. In short, I’m exhausted. Luckily gymnastics classes shut down over the holidays. And my freelance gig is for an educational game, so it will also be on break for two weeks. For the first time in years, I will have holidays! I cannot wait!
Being the Type A person I am, I made a list of the things I want to do for myself over the holidays. Not surprisingly, lots of writers, especially those with day jobs, make similar lists. So I thought I’d share for solidarity or in case you need any ideas…
1) Reading. When books are your passion and there are millions on Earth to read, there is never enough time to get to them all. No wonder writers tackle their reading lists whenever there’s a holiday. Personally, I’m going to combine reading with a hot bath, because I can do that now that I’ve discovered audiobooks! Just press play, place the phone safely away from the tub, and enjoy listening to a story without getting the pages wet or dropping the book/eReader in water. Plus, the epsom salts will be good for my aching writer wrists and shoulders.
2) Recharging. There are many ways to recharge, including the above audiobook + bath suggestion. Some other favourites are treating yourself to a massage, staying off the computer, going to a movie, or taking a break from social media. Whatever makes you feel relaxed and centered. I’m an extrovert, so visiting with friends is also in this list (yes, I derive energy from other people). Introverts often prefer alone time instead. Whatever works for you. And sleep – get lots of that!
3) Cleaning. This may sound like a boring chore, but I look forward to cleaning my writing space and starting fresh. It makes my brain feel less cluttered.
4) Researching. Since the holidays involve social gatherings with family and friends that may spark a lot of drama, think of this as a way to gather new material and inspiration! After all, character drama is the heart of all fiction.
5) Writing. Like many of my writer friends, I plan to use the holidays to catch up on my own writing, especially since I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. I call it DeDoWriMo – December Do-over Writing Month. Fellow writer and blogger Allison has even started an online group for it here.
6) Drinking. Whether imbibing in eggnog or champagne, hot chocolate or hot toddies, we all deserve some festive drinks to unwind and be merry this holiday season!
So that is what I will be doing over the holidays. Plus snuggling my cat. What about you? Does your list look like mine? Or do you have something else planned?