Saturday, January 9, 2016

Holiday Stress and Writing

The holidays are a time for getting together with friends and family, shopping for the perfect gifts, creating a schedule to accommodate everyone, and, of course, stress. Writers have enough stress on normal days, but the holidays can double and even triple our stress load.

There are certain things writers can do to lower their stress levels during the holidays, and all of them are simple.

Acknowledge Your Stress

There is no point in trying to ignore the building stress and letting it boil over. Acknowledge that you are stressed and tell yourself that you will make a plan of action to reduce the stress.

Make a List

When feeling overwhelmed, one of the easiest ways to sort things out is to make a list. Write down everything you need and want to accomplish this holiday season. After you have written your list, take a highlighter and choose three three things you can complete in the next 24 hours. Highlight them and complete each task. Continue to do this each day.

If there are tasks on your list that would take longer than a day to complete, break those tasks down into small portions. For example, let’s say you are working on writing your book. Obviously, you can write it in a day, but you can break the task down into smaller portions, such as writing 1 to 4 thousand words a day.

Be Realistic

Be realistic about what you need to do. Separate the wants from the needs and focus first on completing your writing and holiday needs.

Say No

If too many people are trying to use up your time, you have the right to say no. You have your work. You have your immediate family. All other things fall after that.

No New Projects

Finally, don’t take on any new projects during the holiday season. Focus on finishing off the projects you’re currently working on and ring in the New Year with new projects.

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