Writing Through the Holidays

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

This month’s question for Dec 7 is: It’s holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

Writing Through the Holidays

Over 50 years ago, I dreamed of the day when I would be writing full-time, surrounded by books. For most of those years, I was writing on holidays.

In my 20s & 30s: Christmas school vacations meant no writing during the day as the kids were home. We’d fill our time with fun activities and major writing would wait until school started again in the new year. My office was a spare bedroom that also served as a storage room, and I had a couple bookcases in the living room.

In my 40s: This decade was a mixed bag of events of non-writing jobs where I worked on both sides of any holiday, writing on the holiday. Once I became an empty-nester, if I wasn’t traveling during Christmas, I spent it writing. One of the three bedrooms became my office and contained a few bookcases.

In my 50s: Major writing transitions occurred in this decade. From writing a few hours a week because I worked full-time in business to working full-time and going to school full-time. I traded creative writing for academic writing. Midway through the decade, I began teaching full-time while still a full-time student. I collected research and reference books—filling my one-bedroom apartment with 17 double-stacked bookcases. My office was a corner in the living room. During the holidays, I was either writing academic papers or grading student paper, writing comments on them.

In my 60s: Life-altering events filled this decade. Two years after receiving my Ph.D., the campus where I chaired the English department closed, so I retired and became a full-time indie author and publisher, living the dream of writing full-time while surrounded by books. Most Christmases, I was writing while my kids and their families celebrated the day with in-laws.

In my 70s: A new decade for me, where I continue living my dream. I have fewer bookcases, though, having downsized my living space. My daughter says that I’m the only one she knows who has an office that comes with a bedroom and kitchen as the living room is my office.

Hard to believe I’ve been writing for over 50 years. Most of my writing was performed in spare moments: editing at stop lights, playgrounds, airports, or dictating while driving. Huge chunks of creative writing time before retirement were rare. Plus, I sacrificed a social life in exchange for a writing life.

These days, every day is a writing day, even the holidays. In fact, I rarely know what day it is.

The journey getting here is all the sweeter because I recognize writing full-time wasn’t the actual dream. Getting the writing done and published was the dream. From that perspective, I’ve done well.

A dream can come true if you want it bad enough to take advantage of the small moments and keep that dream forever forward in your thoughts and plans.

Merry Christmas!


Purpose of The Insecure Writer’s Group: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.


About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
This entry was posted in #IWSG, Persistance and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Writing Through the Holidays

  1. I loved reading how your writing has changed over the decades as your life changed. I didn’t have much time to write when I was working and married with a daughter. I haven’t fully retired yet, but I work part-time so can get some writing in most days.


    • Diana Stout says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Natalie. Yes, it’s tough getting that writing done when life events come first, but we’ve proven we can do it, haven’t we? 😉 Wishing you much success with your writing. Happy Holiday!


  2. Nancy Gideon says:

    LOL! Your journey sounds just like mine! Thank goodness we finally made it to the satisfaction of keyboard and contentment!! Happy Holidays, Di!!


  3. What would it be like to have staff ? Those invisible people, so rarely featuring in any cast list , unless sinister, like Mrs Danvers. Write all day, undisturbed ? Maybe I’ve realised, at last, that life will always get in the way of writing., and give me so much to write about. This week and next, my favourite weather.
    Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s