When the days become busy it’s easy to put your own needs on the sidelines. And Thanksgiving can be a busy time. There are people to visit, meals to make, and for many there is shopping to be done. So your manuscript gets set aside. You tell yourself you’ll catch up next week.

Not writing, and not making your personal goals and needs a priority, means that you’re not only missing out on word count, you’re putting yourself second. (You’re also missing some coveted alone time, which can be a survival tool during the holidays.)

So don’t set aside your writing during the holidays. You may need to change your routine a bit but you’ll be far happier, and further along, if you continue to write every day. Let’s take a look at some ways you can make this happen.

#1 Get up a little early. Don’t go crazy here, unless you want to. However, there’s nothing better than a little quiet time, just you and your hero/heroine, in the morning before everyone wakes up.

#2 “Run errands.” Take off for an hour and head to a quiet park, a coffee shop, or a well lit parking lot. Pull out your notebook and write. You can transfer it to your computer later. (If you can sneak your laptop out of your house without everyone asking why, then more power to you!)

#3 Schedule it. Are you a super organized person? I try. Some days are better than others. However, I usually do well with a prioritized checklist and a schedule. The most important tasks are at the top. In this case your most important task is your writing. Schedule an hour, or thirty minutes if you’re super busy, to write. Do it first, before you hit the rest of your list. At the end of the day you can take some pride and comfort that you were productive and that you took time to focus on what matters.

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about why the holidays are such a great time to write. You’re more in tune with your emotions and aware of the world around you during the holidays. It makes for some vivid and compelling writing.

Happy Thanksgiving!