By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills
Attempting to write during the Christmas holidays adds another line in the dictionary’s definition for stress. We’re busier now than at any time during the year. Our planning and preparation is fun, and we feel like kids who’ve eaten way too much sugar. But the joy of the season vanishes when a red-circle on the calendar says, “This writing deadline has priority.”
Looming deadlines are a writer’s fact of life—why not embrace them and list each one with Christmas responsibilities? When I want to bake or shop, I take a deep breath and remember the four words my husband said to me in 1996 when he challenged me to write.
I believe in you.
Something about those words puts my life into perspective. I can successfully separate what needs to be done from what I want to do. Sounds simple, and it is. Here’s how it works for me, and I have confidence these four words can help you ease through deadlines and love every minute of December.
The word “I” doesn’t mean life is a solo trip. Neither does it mean I have to do it all.
The idea of store-bought goodies makes me cringe, but not when I order my special treats from a bakery. It also gives me time to write! Thirty minutes here and an hour there adds to a tremendous word count. (Bakery goodies are incredibly good.)
Shop online and eliminate standing in lines. When the mood strikes to feel the spirit of Christmas, enjoy a stroll through a favorite shopping area, listen to the season’s music, and sip on great coffee or hot chocolate without the burden of lines.
Here’s a fun story about Edie Melson and me just prior to Christmas. We had much to discuss about writing and The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, so we went shopping and chatted.
The word ushers in encouragement and confidence. It also fills my heart knowing my husband believes in my abilities to craft novels, articles, short stories, and blogs while ensuring my family delights in a memorable Christmas. The editors and publishers who issue contracts also believe I can fulfill their assignments. Believe is also how I feel about the God who gave me the gift of writing.
Believe is a word wrapped in blue for love, white for truth, and green for nurturing.
Think about this word as within our hearts. That’s where creativity for writing or preparing for Christmas develops. Our hearts are woven with a deep need to give our best to others, but it has to begin within.
This is why we write, bake, shop, wrap gifts, and decorate. When we stop giving, then we fail as human beings.
Whisper I believe in you when you’re stressed. You’ll find a wealth of energy and enthusiasm to supply you long after the New Year.
What is your secret when life tosses you a curve during the holidays?
4 Words a Writer Needs to Hear During Christmas
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.