For a long time, I wasn't a consistent writer. I figured whenever inspiration struck, I would write. Until then, though, I prefered to do other things with my time. In consequence, I didn't write much, and I didn't get much better at my craft.
However, a year ago, I started writing every day, and I was shocked at how much easier it got. An article that once took three hours to write now takes thirty minutes, and my writing has gotten much better.
If you want to get better at your craft, write every day.
But during Christmas?
However, during the holidays you might think, “Oh, it's okay if I don't write today. I'm on vacation.” I think you will be missing out on a huge opportunity, though, if you don't write this week.
Here are three reasons why you should practice your craft during the holidays:
1. You're going to be around a lot of people.
Good creative writing is always about people, and during the holidays, we spend more time around people than any other season. What better time is there to study people's desires, histories, and actions?
Ask people about their pasts. Pay close attention to the details of their actions. Try to discern what they want most in life. Paying attention to people this week could inspire dozens of new stories.
2. Holidays are transformational.
Christmas and Chanukah are periods of liminality. Liminal space is called the space betwixt and between, which means that it is not normal time. It is special time, and most importantly, it is the period when all transformation occurs.
Fiction is about watching a character change. Elizabeth Bennet starts the story prejudiced and ends in love. Jean Valjean begins a criminal and ends a saint. Rocky starts as a loser and finishes a champion. We love reading about people who change, and the holidays are all about change.
Pay attention and see how people change this Christmas. Then, write about it.
3. You pay more attention to the details during the holidays.
On my way home from a morning walk, I saw a little bird in the white branches of the birch tree out in front of my house. He was green and yellow and only two inches tall. I crept up to him and he didn't fly away and then he did. I walked inside.
You have time to notice these things during the holidays. You have time to breathe in deep and sip coffee slow and look for green birds. And you will even have a little time to write about it.
Practice writing today.
Write about the people you're with, how they've changed, and those little details you notice.
Write for fifteen minutes, and when you're finished, post your practice in the comments. We'd love to see what you write!