Monday, November 20, 2017

Holidays & Writing Schedules

Four year old child sitting on the floor
 reading in a bookstore in Florence, Italy
Our four year old has been known to knock on the butcher's glass window in the evening just to wave an enthusiastic, "Buona Sera!" He loves meat and has developed a friendship with the butcher near our home in Florence, Italy. The other day I stopped in to buy something while our child was in daycare. The butcher looked at me kindly and reassured me, "Don't worry, Signora. Your child will be home for the holidays soon and you'll have something to do again."

His response startled me.

I just smiled and nodded instead of expressing my anxiety about how to keep up with work (as an online instructor, my adult students take classes over the holidays and study more when they are home from their jobs), writing and family time over the holidays. With a non-stop child who wakes up at six am on a good day and has given up the afternoon nap, it isn't easy to balance everything.

Maybe the goal isn't to balance everything, but rather to choose to do some things one day and other things another day. As the holidays start in the U.S. this week with Thanksgiving, I hope that you can shift your attention easily and focus on your current activity. That might mean a self-imposed writing residency while you have time off from work or it might mean putting your writing on hold until little ones are back at school again. Whatever works for you, try to do it with self-awareness, purposefulness and openness to whatever changes inevitably happen.

For more on writing over the holidays, click through if you're thinking about gathering family stories or keeping notes during the busiest times.

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