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Can you believe we’re already at the end of November? Turkey Day is right around the corner here in the US, and after we finish that feast, it’s just a few short weeks until the winter holidays. Whether you’ll be traveling this season or staying put, I wanted to share a few of my survival tips for writers. (I’ll be posting tips to help families survive HOSTING a writer soon, too).

101_0951It’s beginning to look a lot like crazy town…but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to the seasonal stress!

Instead of: locking yourself in the closet with your laptop and a bottle of wine in a desperate attempt to get your work done…

Try this: carve out some time this weekend to work ahead as much as you can, taking the side effects of a writing binge now when you don’t have parents, siblings, or friends pounding on the door with carols and pumpkin pie. Extra word count today means less pressure later!

Instead of: falling into an argument with THAT ONE RELATIVE about the value (or lack thereof) of your art…

Try this: practice deflecting the conversation whenever you know you’re getting into heated territory. I mean, I love a good argument as much as the next person, but I also love my sanity, and things are already tense enough at this time of year. If you tread into dangerous conversational territory, turn it around with an unrelated question and a smile, and then simply listen while your relative carries the conversation into safer waters.

Instead of: spending your down time refreshing your sales or blog stats this winter…

Try this: make a tech-free promise to yourself (within reason). I try not to take my toys with me when I travel (a lot easier since I don’t have a smart phone), but even if you’ve got all the bells and whistles with you, see if you can limit yourself to only going online once or twice over the holidays.

Go forth and be merry, y’all! And just remember…if you can’t ignore the holiday stress, it’ll make great material for your new books in 2015!