Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Balancing Writing During the Holidays

25 Nov

Most writers aren’t able to write full time. That means we tend to work full time and write full time. Between writing, querying, editing, and marketing, our schedules can quickly feel crushing, especially if you’re working toward a very specific goal, such as a revision deadline. Taking breaks can often make writers feel guilty. But you deserve a break, too. Especially during the holidays.

Grab a cocoa, some cookies, and watch the snow fall.

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a workaholic. My life is often, if not always, out of balance. I don’t make enough time for family or friends (or myself) and, though I know I should, I really struggle to find time in my jam-packed calendar full of work, publishing, writing goals, and personal goals. But that’s also why I get burnt out so often. (Okay. So maybe this year was just awful.) Anyway…

I’m trying to be more mindful going into the holiday season. You know, taking more time to sit back and relax, so that when I sit down to write I feel energized and passionate, rather than bogged down by crippling responsibility.

I try to look at it this way: I can’t write dialogue if I’ve never participated in a conversation. Without regular reminders of life, it is more difficult to describe it—to connect with it—and it’s important to be realistic in stories. (It’s also important that we, as people, have interaction with others.)

My personal holiday notes?

  • Don’t let your goals take over your life.
  • Some sacrifice is okay, but don’t sacrifice everything all the time.
  • Enjoy the holidays.

If you are trying to keep up with everything during the holidays, my writing tips are about the same as they are throughout the year: Set aside time to write and stick with it. Always have a notebook on hand. (I use the SimpleNote app, so I never forget it, and I can transfer notes directly to my Scrivener on my laptop.) Set specific goals (Ex. I will write or edit 10,000 words every week), but don’t beat yourself up too much if you don’t accomplish every goal you set. Adjust and keep writing. Rest well and dream often. Oh, and reward yourself with holiday cookies.

If you notice I’m not online as much this holiday season, it’s because I’m trying to be more present in my life. (I even got my first Christmas tree!) I have my blog articles planned for December, but they’ll mostly be fun, light-hearted pieces, along with my regular end-of-the-year posts (like my favorite books of the year and where I think trends are heading). I’m hoping I can get back into the swing of things in 2018, but I’m more focused on having more balance in my life, because I let my life get way too out-of-balance this year.

Balance is important, not only during the holiday season, but also during the rest of the year.

Take care of each other.

Happy Holidays,


Writing Tips: Holidays (2)

29 Nov

It was Thanksgiving here in the United States yesterday, and I wanted to take a moment today to thank everyone for being part of such a wonderful supportive WordPress family. So…thank you 😀

Here’s a short update: it’s been a crazy good week for me. I received the final edits for Seconds Before Sunrise, and I sent out the cover to the blogs participating in the cover reveal on December 1. (If you want your blog to be involved, feel free to send me a message at shannonathompson@aol.com) I’m very excited for the cover reveal! But, speaking of December 1, don’t forget you could win a signed paperback of Minutes Before Sunset. The raffle ends on December 1–the day of the cover reveal! Enter the raffle here.

I love holidays. I even wrote about how you can use holidays in writing. If you read Writing Tips: Holidays last July, then you know my two basic rules: (I would suggest reading the first piece before continuing below.)

1. Pick a Holiday Carefully

2. Consider Creating Your Own Holiday

In Minutes Before Sunset, I did both. Independence Day happens twice, and it holds special meaning for both the protagonist and the overall theme of the story. We also saw The Naming ceremony–a holiday of the Dark’s–and completely fictional. But today I’m discussing a new aspect of including holidays that I didn’t mention before while giving a little sneak peek into the upcoming novel, Seconds Before Sunrise

So you might be asking, “What holidays and celebrations will we see in the second book of The Timely Death Trilogy?”

Well, Thanksgiving, of course! I will say there is more than this celebration that takes place, but Thanksgiving is particularly important to Seconds Before SunriseLike the first novel, the holiday was chosen carefully. It came down to irony, symbolism, and timing–just like I wrote in Writing Tips: Holidays. But I think the most interesting part for me came down to how Eric and Jessica experienced this holiday differently. How they look at it, think about it, and interact with others during it differed for a reason, and this is why I’m talking about it today.

It might seem obvious: everyone celebrates (or doesn’t celebrate) holidays differently. But even if they are celebrating differently, they also feel and act differently–something they might not even be fully aware of. The others around them are the same way.

I know. I know. What am I getting at? I’m basically saying everyone is different. That’s obvious. But I think I want to change something about my original post Writing Tips: Holidays. Maybe those first two rules aren’t separate rules at all. Maybe they are one in the same.

Pick a Holiday Carefully & Consider Creating Your Own Holiday

My Thanksgiving isn’t the same as another person’s Thanksgiving and that goes for all holidays. In a way, each unique tradition is its own holiday. So using a holiday already known while combining it with special traditions–in a way–is creating your own holiday.

We all celebrate differently, after all.


Dec. 1: Seconds Before Sunrise Cover Reveal

Dec. 3: Check Out These Blogs



22 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving !! 

As cliche as it sounds, be sure to take a moment today and remember what you’re thankful for. I know I am thankful for my loved ones and living.

But I have another challenge for readers and writers! 

Think of your favorite novels and why you are grateful for them. What made you fall in love with the characters? How were you transported there? Why did you read past the first page? 

Maybe, when you REALLY think about it, you will surprise yourself with the elements of writing you truly appreciate. 

Again, Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels,


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