Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Author Round-up: Writing Around The Holidays

With the holidays approaching, Kelly and I decided to ask some of our recent YA Fresh author guests to weigh in about how the holidays affect their writing. Do they get more done, less done, the same???

Let’s see what our friends have to say!

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo: Writing... holiday... bring it! Whether I'm in Belgium celebrating St. Nicholas with my brother or in Texas tapping my toes to Feliz Navidad with friends, the spirit of the holidays rocks my creative world. There's something about the lights and aroma of pine needles that sends my imagination into super overdrive. I slate in between 2 to 4 hours to work on a novel, screenplay and/or stage play. I'm usually jumping between three to four projects at once. A cup of hot chocolate, a breakfast tacquito and I'm set to immerse myself in the world of words. Then time with family, friends and a few hours at a homeless shelter. The latter may seem like a downer but it really isn't. See, for me, stories are about the world I can imagine but also the world I see. Whether it's snazzy holiday displays or a conversation with someone down on their luck, I make time for both because it matters. Showing up on the page and in life matters. So I guess my holiday motto is be the change you want to see in the world and have a lot of fun doing it. As always, rock the word!

Tera Lynn Childs: The holidays are not my best time of year for writing. Since my deadlines always seem to fall on or around December 1st, I'm usually so wiped out afterward that I go on a rest-of-the-year writing break. That way I'm all refreshed and ready to start on something new for the New Year. Just in time for my revision letter to come in….

Heather Davis: The holidays definitely affect my writing - usually because I must entertain relatives with my answer to the question "What are you working on now?" It never fails that at any turkey dinner or family egg-nog fest, they ask this question. The problem is that the answer is never simple and somehow they expect it to be hilarious. ;) Ok, so really -- I am a creature of habit, so I will keep to my regular writing schedule (2 hours a day x 3 days + weekend time) as much as possible. It helps that I don't host any holiday shindigs, except for maybe Christmas Eve with my sister. I know that writing keeps me sane, so I'll try to do as much of it as possible, all through the season.

Stephanie Kuehnert: I think I’m in the unique position where the holiday season doesn’t effect my writing schedule too much--I just take the actual holidays off. I don’t have kids. My day job is actually a night job bartending so I still have to work. It will probably be a lot more chill this year than last though. I was on revision deadline then, which really sucked because I got engaged over the holidays and all I wanted to do was celebrate. Maybe Ill give myself the gift of extra free time this year to celebrate since I couldn’t last year!

Kelly McClymer: Holidays are a train wreck for my writing. For twelve years, I have had to get work done in between the marathon games of Wii or poker, or the neverending anecdotes that spill over from every conversational knot. I am, unfortunately, not able to write in the day long trip down or back. So I perch wherever (we visit more than one house, of course), trying to multi task: talk, cook, eat, work. Work tends to suffer in the short run, but in the end my work -- and I -- benefit from the holiday madness of feast and family.

Sydney Salter: I liken my writing routine during the holidays to trying to squeeze into my skinny jeans after eating Thanksgiving dinner. Not only are my kids home from school, my house has become the holiday gathering place so I have my toddler niece and preschool nephew whirl-winding around me. So I sneak away… the baristas at the bookstore café become my best pals. I exchange knowing glances with the other café regulars and I buckle down and write as fast as I can for an hour or two while sipping a peppermint mocha. Happy holiday writing!

Melissa Walker: I plan things so that I won't have to write AT ALL during the holidays--I'm too busy nibbling on cookies and drinking eggnog (and reading my friends' books)! It's a truly awesome break in my schedule.

Wonderful and enlightening answers! And now here's some feedback from us:

Tina Ferraro: When my children were smaller, I made a point of getting to a good stopping point in my writing projects by December 1. I dedicated the entire month to family and reading time. Now that they’re older and at once less demanding in their holiday needs and more helpful, I continue on pretty much as I do any time of year, working when time permits.

Kelly Parra: Writing during the holidays is extremely difficult for me. I had to write Invisible Touch during the holidays and I was distracted with my kiddos home on vacation and finishing up shopping. I am one of those writers who needs absolute concentration when I write or the muse suffers. I don't think I'd like to do it again unless I really had to! Luckily, I made it through without losing my holiday cheer.

We hope you've enjoyed these glimpses into our holiday writing routines. Please jump in and let us know how you handle the holidays--whether's it's about writing or work or just getting things done.

And feel free to ask questions of our guests, too.

12 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Apologies that some of the author links aren't working...I am presently baffled because they appear correct in the blogger, and working on it. But in the meantime, all of these authors' works can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and a quick look at a search engine should take you to their websites. Thanks!

Leigh Purtill said...

Like Stephanie, I have no kids and I work at night (well, late afternoon - evenings) teaching dance so I'll still be doing that over the holidays, only just a little less, and writing during the day.

But I will take Christmas Eve off so my husband and I can have sushi - our own special way to celebrate the holiday.

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Thanks E, Tera, Heather, Steph, Kelly M., Sydney, Melissa, and Tina for the author round-up!!! These are great to read!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I get a lot more writing done, because I tend to make less appearances during the holidays, speaking or otherwise. We've no family nearby, so I get to devote more time to writing than normal. And I like it!

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Leigh! And yum on Christmas Eve sushi! Incidentally, it's traditional of the Italian culture to serve fish on Christmas Eve, so it sounds like you've got a wonderful multi-cultural way of celebrating.

TinaFerraro said...

L. Diane--sounds like the holidays is the perfect writing time for you. Thanks for weighing in!

Anonymous said...

Great question! I'm hoping to get a lot done this holiday, but we'll see! At least there's plenty of inspirational chocolate around.

Micol Ostow said...

Fun topic! I try to take the holidays off, because when I plan to write those days, it never happens. But I wrote a big chunk of my current WIP while in Florida with my in-laws last New Year's, so I do think there's something about being inspired during your down time...

Leah Odze Epstein said...

Thanks for This! I was just thinking how I really want to finish my second hundred pages of my WIP by January, but those darn holidays! As much as I love them, the kids are home, we're traveling here and there, and I cannot write in the midst of chaos--so probably, my writing will consist of a few stolen moments (3 kids: 5, 8 and 11)--we'll see. You should do a follow up to this and see what people actually wrote.

nisha said...

I feel like the holidays are the ONLY time I get to write. I'm usually bombarded with law school and work for the rest of the year. Lol. Great post!


TinaFerraro said...

Thank you, Edith, Micol, Leah and Nisha...and what I'm loving most is all the different perspectives on writing and holidays, and how we all manage to somehow make the best of our sitations!

Anonymous said...

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Merry Christams and wish you a nice day
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