This week, in the US, is Thanksgiving. It can be both a great time to catch up on writing and an absolutely terrible time to catch up on writing.
Most years I would say it’s an easy time for me. I would spend time with my parents and sister, eat too much, and write. There was no travel or entertaining relatives. I woke up early, wrote all day, and spent the evening with family. It was super easy for me.
This year is completely different. I don’t live in the same town as my family anymore and now I have to travel all day to see them–completely cutting out a whole days worth of work. Maybe more if I don’t end up dragging along my laptop.
I either have to power through and write everything left in the next three days (which isn’t happening) or figure out what to do next with family.
I’m lucky. My family will let me squirrel away and write for a few hours, but others might not be. So here are some tips and tricks.
Let Your Family Know
If you haven’t already, do let your family know that you are doing NaNo. Explain to them what is expected, how many words you have left, and no Aunt Genene you won’t get to read it when I’m done. It’s hard to get a few moments of writing in if no one understands (or at least knows) why you’re doing it.
Get Up Early
Or stay up late. Whichever is the opposite as your family and will let you get an extra few minutes of writing in. Don’t cut out too much sleep though. You’ll need it if your in-laws are coming.
Split Up Tasks
If you’re the one in charge of dinner, or entertaining, or a hundred other things this Thanksgiving, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe your sister can bring the dessert since you know she has a sweet tooth. Or a cousin can wrangle up the children so you don’t have to watch them for a bit after dinner. Splitting up tasks allows you to gain a few more minutes. I know it can be hard–especially if you’re the host–but do make the cooking and the clean up a family task too (not just the eating).
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If you don’t get the word count you want, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s not worth it. Any amount of words you got is more than you had before you started. And that’s the important part.
Let me know how you usually handle Thanksgiving with the family. Do you hide yourself away to write? Do you try to overcompensate during the weeks before? Let me know in the comments below.
And of course, Happy Thanksgiving American Friends!