As promised, I’m back with some inspiration for December writing in this week’s Friday Links. Even if you’re not participating in the 2017 December Writing Challenge, I hope you plan to get some writing done this month. The links that follow offer tips, plus some entertainment to keep you smiling as you work. And of course, there are more book recommendations to keep your TBR stocked and maybe help with gift giving. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and some terrific writing time!
This Week’s Links:
Tortoise Victories: How to Win While Writing Slow. – A lovely post that discusses how slow, steady writing will still let you meet your goals.
12 Literary Cocktails to Pair with Classic Reads. – Fun for an evening at home, or if you’re doing a little holiday entertaining!
‘Bad Sex in Fiction Award’ Goes to Novelist Who Compared Skin to Stained Bathtub. – In case you were wondering, there are certain descriptions that really don’t appeal. Great for a chuckle.
Holiday Books Guide and the Best Books of 2017. – The best-books lists continue with this offering from the LA Times.
21 Gifts Under $21 for Writers and Book Lovers. – Suggestions for your shopping list, or for you to drop in hints to friends and family.
Sci Fi Writer Nnedi Okorafor Discusses Inspiration and Influences. – A radio interview with the novelist who is gearing up to write a run of Marvel’s Black Panther comic.
Some Baffling Omissions from the NY Times’ 100 Noteable Books List – LitHub tacks on some great reads they feel got shortchanged in the NYT wrap-up.
It’s the December Writing Challenge Kickoff!
Writers, start your engines!
The truth is, this is a low-key challenge. No huge word counts or goals for the month. Just write every day. For full rules, you can check yesterday’s post. Today I’m here for the official writing challenge kickoff, and to provide you with a few more tips to keep you writing through December.
Life goes a little crazy in December. Writers who crave quiet can find it difficult to carve out time to work on their current projects. Thoughts turn to lists of gifts to buy and plans to make. Everyone wants your attention, your time, your participation. Your boss needs something done before the holiday break. Your kids want you to take them to see Santa. Hanukkah starts on the early side. Your in-laws plan to visit. Suddenly your sister’s turned vegetarian, throwing a spanner in your holiday dinner menu. And you love it all, because the holidays are a wonderful time of year. But… you also love to write.
Tips for Getting to Your Desk
Make yourself a priority. The key to writing regularly is telling yourself, and everyone else, that writing is just as important as any other vital thing on your to-do list. Commit to your writing, and to yourself.
- Schedule your writing time on your calendar. Write it in like a doctor’s appointment. Set an alert to remind yourself when your writing window begins.
- Make writing dates with your local writer friends. Agree to meet and do a writing sprint or two at your local coffee shop. No treats or talk until you’ve put in your half hour minimum for the day.
- Tell your family what you’re doing. Explain that yes, you still plan to do all the normal holiday activities, but writing can’t take a holiday this year and you need to write every day.
- Set up a signal to let family know it’s your writing time. Whether that’s a sign on your door, a place you sit that’s “writing only,” or a writing sweater you put on, make it clear. When you’re writing, they need to leave you alone unless there’s a blood-or-fire emergency.
- Don’t limit yourself to your desk/computer. Grab a pen and a notebook and find somewhere to hide. Dust off a corner of your attic, pick a favorite spot in your local library, go to the café that has no wifi and write your heart out for a while.
Writing should not be something you steal time to do. You do not write at the expense of other things. If it matters to you, it’s earned its own space. Assign it time, and honor that commitment. And remember, all the words count, and it all adds up.
Happy writing! Don’t forget to check out the #DecWritingChallenge tag on Twitter to see who else has joined the challenge and for ongoing cheerleading. Plus, spread the word about today’s writing challenge kickoff! I’ll be back here later today with this week’s Friday Links.