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Holidays, and the days leading up to them, are rife with noise. And I'm not talking about loud neighbors or the phone ringing constantly either, although that may be part of the problem. What I'm referring to is one of the creativity crushers: distractions. Gifts and meals to prepare, relatives calling, extra errands to run, how does one manage to get anything done around holidays, especially major ones like Christmas or (in this case) Easter? With the added stress that comes with holidays or perhaps something more hectic (financial problems, family or personal illness, loss of a loved one, etc.), could this increase the possibility that you won't feel like writing?

After all, a focused, inspired mind is brimming with ideas and ready to create, but stressed-out, overworked, grumpy mind can be disastrous to writing. I can relate to this. And I understand that it's not a shortage of ideas, but lack of energy and enthusiasm with everything else that's going on.

So what do you do when you don't feel like writing? Do you set it aside rather than having your joy become drudgery? Or do you force yourself to do it to maintain the creative momentum? At one time, I probably would have opted to set it aside, but once that starts, it can become too comfortable putting writing off indefinitely.

So what should you do when you don't feel like writing?

1. Show up
I've found that once I sit down and get started, the “I don't want to” feeling goes away. But perhaps time is an issue, especially with holiday and family responsibilities. In that case, reschedule your time. Even a shorter session is better than none at all.

2. Try something different
Sometimes you need a change. If you're working on a novel, try a poem or short story. Perhaps you usually write at home. Have you considered grabbing your laptop and doing your writing from the library? Do you usually type? Perhaps you should consider writing part of your first draft by hand. You can always type it up when things are less stressful.

3. Set a timer
This is especially for those experiencing time issues. Set a timer and get busy writing. If it isn't good, that's fine. That's what the revising and editing phases are for. Just get some writing done so you have something to revise.

4. Rewards
I've discussed rewards before because they can help keep you motivated during times when you're not feeling like writing otherwise. After reaching a certain milestone, go out for coffee. For a bigger one, plan an evening out with a friend or significant other. Make the reward something you'll look forward to.


Ultimately, don't stress. That will turn your writing experience into drudgery, and you may not get much on the page. If you are too stressed, reschedule your writing time. And if it's a holiday or family get-together you're preparing for, enjoy the process and the time with your loved ones. If you're dealing with something more difficult, let your writing be your time of solitude and walk away at the end of your session with that sense of accomplishment. You deserve it.