Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...


Write Through the Holidays

Why do we change our daily writing routine around the holidays? If we’ve established what works best for us on our ordinary days, then doesn’t altering it for special days make us worse off? How about when we alter it for days upon days in preparation for the holiday?

Often the habits that support our craft are the first to go, evident by the emptier writing groups and cafes this time of year.  It’s a funny phenomenon, really, that we take what many of us consider the most sacred time of year and plunge into self-neglect, in order to serve the holiday gods.

What if you decided that the extra energy required for the holidays would not be siphoned from your creative well?

Women have been complaining loud and clear about the mental and emotional clutter we carry that is causing all sorts of stress and fatigue. Then when the holidays come, we tend to take on more.

My solution?



Do what brings you joy and no more.

Toning down the holidays is good for you. your family, and your creativity.  And anything that fuels creativity, fuels the human spirit.

For better or worse, it doesn’t take much ‘extra’ to make me feel out of sorts. I know I’ve had too much holiday hoopla when I start doing things like searching for my phone while I am holding it in my hand. Or creating a shopping list and then promptly losing it. My mind does not do the two- places- at- once thing well, and, frankly, I don’t even want to. And isn’t this true for most creatives?

I don’t want to give up writing for weeks leading up to a holiday. Or even for several days. Ditto for yoga or jogging or cooking healthy meals or any of the other things that make me happy on ordinary days.  There is a reason I do what I do on a consistent, daily basis.  To throw it all away in the name of celebrating just doesn’t sit right with me.

I enjoy the holidays so much more when I don’t allow them to take over my life, and in particular, my writing life.  Holidays are fun, but I like ordinary days. My dopamine levels are doing just great on ordinary days, thank you. I’m not really looking for a shot of WOW.  Rather than being a holiday overachiever, I’d rather push my limits in a completely different area of life. I’d rather let the magic spill out onto the page.

What if everyone leaned into the holidays only as far as they found enjoyable and no more? It’s not always an easy task, identifying your ideal level of holiday stimulation and drawing the line there. It has a lot to do with temperament and personal preference, and maybe a dozen other things. I think it’s worth figuring out for ourselves though, when to shake things up- and when the ordinary hairdo is just right.

Happy Holidays.

And happy writing.

Dana Laquidara contributes to the Huffington Post and blogs at Highly Sensitive Material. Excerpts taken from her memoir-in-progress have won awards in Writer’s Digest and on the stage of the Boston Moth. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

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