Thanksgiving Snuck up on Me...How to Balance Your Writing Life with the Holidays

I have been so busy lately with reviewing ARCs for our anthology (Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II - February 2016), doing the preliminary work for my debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes (May 2016), my day job, preparing to moderate two panels, doing a book signing, and well, just life. I'm still wondering where June went, and Thanksgiving has come and gone.

And now it's time to think about decorating and presents. As a kid, it seemed to take years to get through the year to Christmas. Now, I blink and it's the holiday season again.

My normal day starts at 5 AM, and I'm at work by 7:15. I tend to work 9-10 hour-days and then write and do all the other things that come along. I don't want the holidays to fly by without enjoying them. Here are some ideas to help your writing life stay on track during the craziness that is this time of year...

1. Write blog posts in advance and schedule them. You can schedule Facebook posts and tweets too.

2. Get your holiday shopping and decorating done early. I'm doing a lot of online shopping this year. I hope to be done by the first week in December.

3. I use my TV time to do my social media updates. I also do quick updates in the morning during breakfast.

4. Take a good look at your free time. Are there time sucks? If you cut down on TV, game time, or perusing the Internet, you make free up some chunks of time.

5. I use my lunch hour at work to write and edit. That's five hours a week of extra writing time.

6. I record the shows that I like to watch on TV, so I can speed through the commercials. It does save some time.

7. I have a 35-45-minute daily commute twice a day to work. I listen to a variety of news programs on my satellite radio during the ride, so I don't usually have to catch up on news later. in the evening.

8. Look at your schedule and the activities that you've committed to doing. Are there things you can cut back on or jettison? I had to cut down on some of my volunteer work when I committed to writing.

Holiday wishes and happy writing!