For the past couple of years, I have issued a writing challenge for the month of December, and given its popularity, I am throwing down again this year. I realize that many of you are still neck-deep in NaNoWriMo, or perhaps focused on incoming family and Thanksgiving turkey prep, but December 1st is coming up fast and I wanted to get the word out before everyone vanishes into a holiday-induced food coma.
December is, arguably, the busiest month of the year. There are a wealth of holidays vying for time and attention, between parties and shopping and cooking and travel plans. Getting some writing done can be tough, no matter how disciplined you are. So my December challenge is all about squeezing in some writing time, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. No word count goals, no mountains to climb, just a commitment to putting your writing high on your priority list.
Maybe some of you are finishing up with NaNoWriMo and are aware that 50,000 words won’t quite get you to the end of your story. Or perhaps you’re lagging on your NaNo word count and feeling discouraged. Others of you may have scoffed at the idea of writing a novel in a month and haven’t put hands to keyboard in three weeks in protest. Whatever your deal, if you consider yourself a writer, this is a challenge for you.
Starting Sunday, December 1st, commit to writing every day during the month of December. You don’t need to write a lot, though if you find the time to do so, more power to you. Instead, make sure you schedule in a writing date with yourself every day. Aim for half an hour, but if you can only steal 15 minutes, make do with that. The idea is to remind your brain that this is what you do, that it’s just as important as hanging wreaths on the door or holiday baking or picking up Aunt Dottie from the airport. You are a writer, and writers write.
Given the stress of the season, I’ll give you two days off, to be taken at your discretion, but if you can make it through all 31 days of December without a break, even better. So, go mark your calendar and get ready to start knocking off days. December is for writing.