The days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are quite possibly the busiest of the entire year. That means it may be even more difficult to find time to write. Don’t let the holidays throw off your writing routine though. Here are seven ways to continue making time to write during the holiday season.

Make room.

While your calendar may be jam-packed with holiday parties, shopping for gifts, special holiday events, and family time, it’s important to make room in your schedule for your writing.

Identify the best time of day to write.

If you’re an early riser, set your alarm for an hour earlier and use that time to write. If you are more focused during the afternoon, use your lunch break to scribble some words on paper. You night owls can dedicate an extra hour in the evenings to type all the words. It’s more important to identify the time of day you feel most alert and creative. Then, figure out how to squeeze in an hour of writing into that time of day.

Plan it out.

Once you figure out the best time of day to write, make sure to plan writing into your schedule. Keep those appointments with yourself and you’ll be writing through the holiday season without a pause.

Carry a notebook.

By having a notebook on hand, you can write whenever and wherever you want. While I don’t recommend writing in the backseat of the car on the way to Grandma’s house—motion sickness isn’t pleasant—old-fashioned pen and paper provide a lot more opportunities to write on the go.

Relocate if necessary.

The house can be extra loud and full of distractions during the holidays. If you find that you’re struggling to write at home, pack up your stuff and move to a local coffee shop. If you need complete silence, try the library.

Be flexible.

The holiday season requires a lot of juggling, and some days you may find you really don’t have time to write. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to push your writing time to another day. Being present in the season is just as important as your writing goals.

Utilize the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

When all else fails, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the quietest week of the holiday season—maybe even the whole year. Use that week to spend some extra time on your writing and start your new year off on the right foot.

What To Write

Unless you are writing on deadline, I don’t recommend devoting your writing time during the holidays to anything super important. Instead, try your hand at one of these three ideas:

A Short Story

Write a short story set during the holidays. When it’s done, you can print copies for family members and friends, you can publish it as an eBook, or you can post it on your blog.

Daily Journaling

The holiday season is filled with all kinds of fun activities and special moments. Journal your favorite Christmas cookie recipe, describe the holiday parties you attend, or include favorite holiday traditions you have with your family. Those pages could become inspiration for a future writing project or even just serve as sweet reminders of Christmases past.

Character Profiles

Instead of writing, use your time during the holidays to do research and build character profiles for your next book project. That way, you’ll be more than ready to start writing a new manuscript in January.