Hey word nerds! The holiday season is in full swing, so we thought we would present a holiday-themed round-up full of posts from our archives for you to enjoy. Whether you want some advice on how to get some writing in during this busy time or maybe you want to explore some podcast episodes or maybe you would rather do a bit of reading, we’ve got you covered.
A Writer’s Holiday Survival Guide by Bess (Cozby) McAllister
This two-part guide is all about being able to celebrate the holidays without “losing your writing muscles, your friends, or your life.” This advice still holds up today! There is so much going on in late December, so many people to see, things to wrap up, and so on that sometimes it’s easy to skip out on your writing time. This guide has advice on scaling back, carving out a little bit of time, and writing on the go—whatever works for you. Part 1 is linked above and here is part 2.
Flash Fiction as Holiday Therapy by Alicia Audrey
Whether you spend time this season with family or friends, the holidays are ripe for awkward situations and interesting drama. Use it! The great benefit of flash fiction is that it is manageable to write in a single sitting. This post helps you turn situations into stories. Even better? Alicia includes an example of a piece written from her own awkward holiday gathering.
#5onFri: Five of Winter’s Gifts to Every Writer by Stephanie Lucas Basile
Sometimes winter gets a bad rap. And I say this as a person who doesn’t do cold and who gets extremely anxious about it getting dark at 4:30 every afternoon for months on end. The point is we CAN find some good things about winter that can help us get to writing. This #5onFri elaborates on some of the “gifts” of the season and how they can translate into inspiration for our writing.
Why You Should Review Your Writing Year by Gabriela Pereira
While writing isn’t bound by a single calendar year, the calendar year makes a neat container for goals and marking progress. Thus, the end of the year makes a great time to stop and reflect on the goals you’ve set for yourself, how they went well, and what could have gone better, so that you can set new (and better) goals for the next year. In this post, Gabriela poses some reflection questions about where your writing journey has taken you and what you’ve learned and offers some guidelines for setting new goals in the future.
This is a throwback to an early, early episode of the podcast. Gabriela does a solo show here where she talks about the Santa Claus story, why he is the master of creative motivation, and what we can learn from him about the creative process. She shares five lessons about creativity, writing, and life and a couple of important things to remember if you wind up getting coal. Don’t have time to listen to the full podcast? You can check out this post that shares (and expands upon) the same lessons.
In this episode of DIY MFA Radio, Gabriela interviews Sarah Morgan, bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. It highlights her 2019 release, A Wedding in December. In the interview, Gabriela and Sarah discuss what makes holiday romances so popular, how to navigate stories where a HEA (happily ever after) ending is guaranteed, developing an authentic setting, and so much more.
Cozy Mysteries and the Holidays by Stacy Woodson
There’s just something about the height of winter that makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a book and a hot drink and get cozy (this is literally the only benefit to the cold and darkness, in my opinion). This post is a great introduction to cozy mysteries as a genre, including common elements within the genre, where to find cozy mysteries, and why they are so perfect to read during the holiday season.
Seven Cozy Poems of Winter by Angela Yeh
Continuing our theme of getting cozy, poetry reading columnist and Community Welcome Dragon Angela Yeh wrote this post with the best snow-themed poems. In it, she talks about the magic of winter and getting cozy to help you prepare for the experience of reading about the beauty and stillness of a snow-covered world.
However you use this holiday-themed round-up, we hope you have a happy holiday season!
Lori Walker is the Operations Maven at DIY MFA. Though she’s fallen off the wagon as a writer, she’s hoping to return to writing essays (perhaps even a novel!) through her involvement with DIY MFA. She is also Launch Manager, Web Editor, and Podcast Producer for DIY MFA and a Book Coach. She resides in Smalltown, Oklahoma, with her husband and their cat, Joan Didion. You can follow her on Instagram at @LoriTheWriter.