Writing at Christmas

Today I’ve invited my wonderful proofreader and editor, Maria, to share her thoughts about writing during the holiday period. Enjoy!

Christmas is a time when people like to relax and take a break. However, for a writer that can be a problem. Whether you are in the middle of a piece or recently finished, you should never stop writing. Try to do a little each day, even if it’s just half an hour in bed before you get up.

My favourite trick is Freewriting. Choose a word the night before, or get someone else to pick one for you and just write. No planning, no thinking; put pen to paper and let your every thought flow out. What comes into your mind when you first think of that word? Let the thoughts flow and enjoy what comes out. Stifle your inner editor too or you will lose the flow. Sometimes it can take you places you didn’t expect and one thought leads to another, taking you down a tangent that you might never have journeyed along.

Never throw these freewritings away – you never know when they might be useful. Sometimes there might be a word or phrase that will work perfectly and be needed for a project, sometimes nothing will be useable. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and though you think it might not work for one project – it could work for another in the future.

This trick is perfect for those who have finished a project and want to take a breather and clear their thoughts, before either starting another or tackling the editing and revising. Alternatively if you have got blocked in the middle of your project, this is the best idea I know of to deal with it. It allows you to keep in the habit of writing, while at the same time leaving your subconscious free to untangle the knot that stopped you.

If you find that your writing is often under par when you try to push yourself through ‘Writer’s Block’ then this technique is for you.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you, Maria, for sharing these great tips with us.

Are you going to be writing over the Christmas holidays? Are you doing freewriting yourself? Are you going to try this method? Let us know your thoughts and plans!

Maria Johnson has a B.A. Honours degree in English and Creative Writing. She is a published poet and was nominated for International Young Poet of the Year in 2007. She is a freelance proofreader and editor. In her spare time she’s an avid reader and is writing a novel.

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