It’s that time of year again. Evenings are spent vegging out on the sofa after yet another rich, heavy meal. There are invitations to office parties and family gatherings a-plenty. Food and drink flow freely. Days and nights blend into one another, and normal is a distant memory. The belts around our waists move up a couple of notches, and shops run out of antacid tablets. Welcome back to the holiday season.
Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—no matter what you celebrate this time of year, for an indie author, holiday celebrations can have harmful effects not only on your bottom but also on your bottom line. You may decide to put all thoughts of writing and promotion aside for a few days, weeks, or months. But if you want to stay writing fit, here are our top tips for getting through the season.
- Set boundaries: Be upfront with your family, your friends, and yourself. Set crystal-clear goals ahead of time for how much you plan to write or what your world count will be daily, but remember, it is sensible to set lower targets compared with your normal output. This will allow you to join in with all the festive fun and still spend time on your business. You can have your pumpkin pie and eat it too.
- Be kind: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. No one wants to see or hear you moaning about getting back to your book. When you are partying, party. When you are supposed to be writing, write. Your time is yours to manage. Staying at your desk rather than joining your little ones under the tree on Christmas Day is not good for your creative soul. Be generous to yourself and others. If you missed your word count, don’t take it out on the people you love. Get up earlier the next day and catch up on your own time.
- Stay healthy: Your brain needs fuel to work, so stay hydrated, and get out in the fresh air. Alcohol, too many sugary snacks, or creamy sauces can play havoc with more than your waistline. As a writer, you probably already live a mainly sedentary lifestyle, so make the most of being untethered from your desk and go for a walk after meals. Play physically active games with those presents you bought for your kids, and dance yourself silly every night. It is the holiday season, after all.