Why The Holiday Season Sucks For Writers

‘Tis the season to loathe the season. That is, if you ♥️ writing and all the ⛄️🎄🎁 gets in the way of crafting your story.

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Oh, the ho-ho-ho, ha-ha-holidays!

Before trick-or-treaters stormed our neighborhoods, we’ve been bombarded by holiday cheer. Store shelves were already packed with seasonal decorations and themed albums. Streams of lights laced rooftops weeks before we carved the turkey.

Well, I’m a vegetarian, so a figurative turkey.

Now that we’re days away from the “end” of the holiday season, I’m ready to bid the whole month adieu.

Seriously, how long can radio stations really play holiday music?

Ebenezer Scrooge Christmas Carol

To clear the air, I am not against the celebration of religious holidays. In fact, it’s the only part of the season that really captivates me. It’s the commercialization of the season that grinds my gears.

Call me Ebenezer, but I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. Just ask anyone whose house is lacking in holiday garland and they’ll give you an earful.

You’d think as a writer, I’d love this season. There’s so much inspiration to write during the holiday season! The lights, the music, the tree, the ornaments, the stockings, the crackling fireplace, the family traditions—an endless list of ideas I can weave into a story.

But that’s not the case for me. Let’s just call it like it is: The holidays suck for writers.

Why, you ask? I’m glad you did.

Writers are creatures of habit. We like to write at specific times of days at specific places using specific mediums. A slight bump in our schedule can stunt our creativity and focus.

It’s a habit after years of struggling to find the right formula that motivates us to write.

But December doesn’t give twelve lords a-leaping about our habits. There are parties to attend (or host), gifts to buy, presents to wrap, cookies to bake, meals to cook, outfits to press, and miles to drive, all in the name of holiday spirit.

Punching Punch Clock GIF

And this is why the holiday seasons sucks for writers: There’s simply no time to write.

True, many of us are coming off a successful round of NaNoWriMo, and a writing break in December is well needed.

But there are writers who simply love to write. Yet there’s not enough time this month to make it happen.

So while we’re preparing for the big day or celebrating throughout the season, the thought that we’re not making any progress in our writing gnaws on our mind. And this intense pressure can’t be shooed away with “I’ll catch up on it tomorrow.”

Then, after weeks of not writing, we face the daunting decision of creating our New Year’s resolutions. As if we needed the reminder of what we didn’t accomplish.

Here’s What We Can Do About It

Don’t call us selfish, ungrateful Scrooges. Name-calling does not bring holiday cheer.

Ratatouille Mouse Eating Strawberry and Cheese Fireworks GIF

Because it’s not that we don’t like spending time with you. We do. We just also want to write too.

So, if we’re a little cranky, let us talk out our frustrations. And, if there’s a moment that we can be spared, encourage us to write.

(And make sure we’re well fed. We don’t want to bring “hangry” into the emotional mix.)

That way, we can all enjoy the holidays in peace.

Calling all writers! Do you think the holiday season sucks for our writing? Share your thoughts below.


  1. It is more difficult to be sure we take time to write during this season but it’s also important to be sure we have a good work life balance. Make time for writing and make time for cheer.

    As for the commercialization…I hear ya! We decorate, a little and we give small simple and meaningful gifts. I’m sick of finding Christmas stuff in the store in September.

  2. Agreed: this time of year is usually a nightmare as a writer, and what’s worse is that none of my family really get it, since they are all non writers!

    I’ve tried to schedule family engagements around my writing schedule this year, so we will see how this goes! Disruption to my schedule has a tendency to throw me off for weeks, and leads to bad habits. Sunday is one of my writing days, but I can’t really get out of Christmas day!

  3. I enjoyed your article even if I don’t agree. Although I don’t speak for all writers, I don’t believe the holidays need be a problem for writing schedules.

    My philosophy is we make our lives what we want. I love the holiday, a time to refocus on the positive, leave behind the negative. Unless I am weaving it into a story, why create drama?

    I am constantly facing new deadlines for my articles, and I work 32 hours a week at another job. My life is a juggling act of pitching stories, writing articles, working, and editing my novel. Slow, deep breaths keep stress levels down, and keep the creative balls in the air. Change-ups in the routine keep the act exciting.

    Even though writing time is precious, I find time to write. Waiting in line, riding the ferry, and lunch breaks are all opportunities to observe and write. People time is forage time for character studies. Annoying people are less irritating, and spring fresh nuances for bothersome characters in my stories.

    I may not be at my desk writing when life becomes hectic. Utilizing spare moments enhance my writing – my pocketsize notebook is a dear friend!

    If a writer is flexible enough to make a November write-more marathon happen, isn’t the holiday season’s call for flexibility in the schedule more like a novelist’s stroll?

    Breathe deep and write on.

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