Monday, November 28, 2011

Writing Through the C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Season

Christmas season is finally here! It’s my favorite time of year, mainly because we get to celebrate the birth of Christ. And I also get to decorate the tree, buy a bunch of fun gifts, send out Christmas cards, and bake those yummy peanut butter cookies with a Hershey kiss squished on top.

But with all the extras on my to-do list, I have a hard time sitting in front of the computer to creatively write. There’s no time. Sure, I’m finding time to think of a creative comment to post on Jack’s Facebook status, and then quickly check the gold box deals on Amazon, and then back on Facebook to see if Jill finished her laundry…

So I’ve created a new acronym for “CHRISTMAS” to help keep us writing through this Christmas season. These are just some rumble strips for those of us who easily veer off Manuscript Road.

C - Call your peeps back later.

Return phone calls AFTER you write that awesome disaster for Chapter Five. If you spend your time making phone calls before devising the disaster, you may only leave yourself enough time to save the blank Word document and call it a day. That’s not the disaster you’re aiming for here.

H – Hit like Rocky.

Hitting the super sale at Best Buy is not an excuse to blow off your antagonist. If Rocky hit the super sale at K-Mart instead of Apollo Creed, he wouldn’t have won the fight—Oh Wait! He didn’t win, but he went the distance.

R – Read the “Life’s Funny” page in Reader’s Digest.

I guarantee you’ll laugh at least once. Laughing reduces stress and boosts your immune system. You don’t have time to get sick right now.

I - Inner elf.

“This holiday, discover your inner elf.” It may be just a silly tagline from the movie Elf, but there are some good values we can learn from the green guys with pointy shoes. Coincidentally, elves love to tell stories. Here’s three good values of an elf: 1.)Elves, work hard to get their required quota of work done each day, 2.)They only require 40 minutes of sleep each night (we should aim for a little more than that) 3.)Elves burn a lot of calories because they keep moving while working. So don’t be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins, and keep moving! *If you don’t know what I’m talking about, be sure to watch the movie Elf in your oh-so-vast amount of free time.

S – Sleep with a notebook within hands reach.

Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night with a perfect idea for your WIP and then fallen back asleep, only to forget those important details? If you keep a notebook handy, you can quickly jot down the main points you want to remember. Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, came up with the idea for her vampire story in a dream. She even remembers the exact night of her dream. So make sure you put the date next to your midnight ideas, because you never know…

T - Thank God for everything.

Simple. Thank God for EVERYTHING!

M – Multitask while making Christmas cookies, not while writing your masterpiece.

We all know that it requires a lot of detailed mental processing to write a novel. If you’re not fully concentrating on the story, your writing pace will slow down. Even though you may have folded a load of laundry in-between paragraphs, you will end up with fewer words for the day.

A – Aerobic exercise is a must each day.

Make sure you take time to go for a walk or run, or even jump some rope while on a break from writing. Aerobic exercise reduces stress and blood pressure, and improves mental health and circulation.

S – Smell the Christmas pine tree.

Smells trigger your emotional memory. The woodsy aroma of pine trees are everywhere right now and easily accessible. They can create feelings of nostalgia. Just make sure it’s a real tree. The sense of smell is also great for story writing, because it can give the story a livelier picture.

Merry Christmas!

~Marjorie DeVries


  1. I love it Margie - I'm not a writer, but there is something in there for each of us to remember, especially thanking God for everything. I'm waiting to read your first book. But when???
    Love you, Aunt Carol

  2. Great to for all of us to remember! The acronym is perfect for all of us time challenged, easily distracted people. Wish u a very Merry Christmas!
    Jen L.

  3. Very creative! I need to copy this.

    By the way, one comment on the "Hitting like Rocky." Did Rocky win over Apollo Creed? It depends if you're referring to the original or Rocky 2 (or is it Rocky II?), where he wins the championship from Apollo. Being technical.

    Have a great Christmas season.


  4. Very creative acronym for Christmas! Thanks!