The Twelve Days of Christmas Writing
Christmas. Busy and manic for many. But for the savvy among us writers, it presents an opportunity to get away from the day job and carve out some precious writing time.
So, for those of us lucky enough to be able to find 12 days break from ‘work’ over Christmas, here’s a plan to get yourself ready for writing in 2019.
Each of the twelve days contains something for you to do for yourself as a writer, and a writing exercise. When you have reached the twelfth day, you will have formed a writing habit that you will not want to break!
1st day of Christmas (Friday 21 December)
- Decide that you’re going to do it! Whether you want to have a go at writing or return to it because life has got in the way – today’s the day!
- Write about a new beginning.
2nd day of Christmas (Saturday 22 December)
- Write down your main writing ambition. Maybe it’s to get better at writing poems, perhaps you’d like to write your life story or maybe it’s your dream to write fiction. Whatever it is, it’s a dream you can aim for. Write it down. Make it real.
- Use this line as a ‘starter,’ copy and continue as either prose or poetry: the house smelt of Christmas …
3rd day of Christmas (Sunday 23 December)
- Decide on a place at home where you can make your writing space.
- Write about a ‘gift’ (fictional or autobiographical) It doesn’t have to be a ‘material’ gift.
4th day of Christmas (Monday 24 December)
- Light a candle in your writing space.
- Write a poem or piece of prose about a candle. Imagine it being somewhere else, a restaurant, a party, a church.
5th day of Christmas (Tuesday 25 December)
- Play some music in your writing space. Perhaps you can find a piece that will continue to inspire you.
- Write about the best Christmas you have ever had.
6th day of Christmas (Wednesday 26 December)
- Go to the Boxing Day sales! Buy yourself a special hardback notebook and pen that you will love writing with. Treat yourself to a folder to keep all your jottings in and a small notebook for you to carry around with you. (writers notice things.) And go on, buy yourself something new to read too. The best writers are readers.
- Write about either being reunited or saying goodbye to a family member.
7th Day of Christmas (Thursday 27 December)
- Decide on the best time of day for you to write regularly. You might be a night owl or a morning person.
- Write about a journey you have taken. (physical or spiritual.)
8th Day of Christmas (Friday 28 December)
- Put a picture in your writing space that will inspire you to write (a person or a place.)
- Bring your picture to life in poetry or prose by imagining yourself within it. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel?
9th Day of Christmas (Saturday 29 December)
- Spend the day out and about. Record notes in your notebook. Overheard conversations, atmospheric settings, things in the landscape, interesting looking people.
- Choose one of your observations to bring to life and put into a new imagined context.
10th Day of Christmas (Sunday 30 December)
- Identify yourself a writing competition that you could enter. This will give you a writing deadline and a target.
- Choose five words associated with Winter. Write a scene which contains all five of them.
11th Day of Christmas (Monday 31 December)
- Look on line for a local workshop or writing event, such a literature festival you could attend next year. Write the date in your diary now.
- Copy and complete the following line as a poem or prose – a world without music …
12th Day of Christmas (Tuesday 1 January)
- Happy New Year. Set yourself three writing-related resolutions. Make sure they are S.M.A.R.T.
- Write a letter to your younger self. What advice can you offer?
I’d love to hear from anyone who completes the ’12 days of writing!’ Feel free to share and post your feedback in the comments. Happy Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Writing.
© Maria Stephenson
If you would like to know more about the structured on-line courses I offer, visit https://mariastephenson.com/creative-writing-courses/