Social Icons

21 Nov 2012

RTW - Holiday Writing

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This Week's Topic is:
With Thanksgiving on the horizon we want to know how you balance hectic times like the holidays with your writing schedule.
We don't have Thanksgiving in England and the only holiday we have here in November is Bonfire Night.  Literally one night of standing around and watching fireworks in the sky and getting toasty warm by the bonfire that's lit up.  It's not a major holiday that people tend to take time off work or school for.  So there is still plenty of time to write and if I'm not going to a Bonfire event that night I'm just taking some time away from the computer to look outside.  There's a field outside my flat so usually people come and set off their own fireworks and I watch that through the window.  Whatever I do, I can always write on the day and I don't usually see family for it either. 
I don't think there's a lot of major holidays in my life and in the UK where I struggle to balance family with writing.  We have a lot of one day holidays that we don't take time off for and always spend it with family.  There's Pancake Day - for a non-religious person that's just a day of making our own pancakes.  I don't tend to celebrate St George's Day but again that's not a huge family celebration type holiday.  And then there's St Patrick's Day which I do celebrate (Proud Irish ancestry! =D) and that's just a night of drinking.  Again, families don't tend to get together.  No-one wants their parents to see how much alcohol they're having. And if anything, Halloween always gets me writing.  That day is pretty much... well, dead here in England.

I guess there's only Christmas time that requires family time and a lack of writing.  For me that's purely a holiday of spending time with family and watching Christmas TV.  I just give myself a little break.  Depending on where me and Pete are for Christmas I may take a notebook to scribble down notes or write by hand when there's a chance to just sit and chill out.  The same goes for New Year.  We'll have a family meal, again whether we're in Leeds or Darlington, but it's a chilled out day and night as we wait for the new year to roll in.  Although we're in Leeds this year for News Years and I think I may have been unwillingly volunteered to cook the traditional roast dinner. So maybe I won't get any chance to write that day. =/
Pete and I do actually have to go up to Darlington this weekend for his mum's graduation party.  It's not a holiday or anything but it does require spending time with family.  I'm on 42K at the moment with NaNo so I'm hoping I can get to 50k by this Friday.  If not I'm taking my netbook with me and I'll be able to fit in writing at night when we head to bed and in the morning.  There's also Sunday morning when his family go to Church and we usually have the house to ourselves.  I would write on the coach but I'm quite funny about writing when there's a stranger sitting next to me.  I don't like anyone seeing the first draft that I'm writing.  When it's edited that's fine but not the terrible first draft!
What are the holidays like for you? I'm especially interested in hearing how hectic Thanksgiving can be. :)


  1. When I lived in the US, it was quite worrying how many people asked me what Thanksgiving is like over here in England.

    But oooooh I love Thanksgiving. Such good food!

    Good luck finishing NaNo! :D

  2. You know, I've always wanted to go to an Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day (Irish background too!), but all of the people who wish they were Irish crowd them all out. I think this is something I need to do at some point.

    As for finding balance during the holidays, I don't really think about it. I get done what needs to be done, and go from there. :)

  3. Cole, really? =/ Dearie me, that's quite bad to be honest. Thanskgiving seems like a holiday I'd love. Those dinners look gorgeous!

    Jaime, I'd really love to go to Ireland on St Paddy's Day. :) We have some local Irish pubs but unfortunately they're a bit on the rough side. :(

  4. Cole: If anyone asks me that, I tell them in England they celebrate Thanksgiving on July 4th (thankful to get those wretched colonists off our backs...). ;)

    When I think about it, there aren't a lot of traditional family-type holidays in the UK. I suppose you could say Bank Holidays are times to take the family to Blackpool or something, but really, Christmas and New Year are the only real "family get-together" times you have. So make the most of them! :)

    You're doing really well with NaNo, Robin. It sounds like you're finding time to make progress amidst everything else going on. I hope you make the 50K by the weekend so you can relax. All the best to you!

  5. Sometimes I just don't understand people when they ask if other countries have Thanksgiving. I know Canada has one in October but other than that no, just stop. :D
    Things don't get too hectic for me during the holiday season.
    Keep up with NaNo you can do it :D
    Thanks for sharing. :D

  6. Thanks, Colin. :) It's a shame the UK don't have other family holidays. We're very much one day holiday-ers and then it's back to business. But maybe that's a good thing. Less stressful times. As much I love Christmas I know how stressful it is for my aunt who makes the Christmas dinner.

    MsFairyFreak, its weird, isn't it? I guess when you're used to traditions and well-known things like that you expect everyone has their own celebration of it in some way or knowledge.

  7. I've never noticed how many holidays US really has until people started comparing to other countries. Wow, I guess it would seem we're constantly busy over here. But since I don't notice, maybe that means all my priorities are where they need to be. lol

  8. Bonfire day sounds amazing! That is my kind of holiday.

  9. I had to smile at your St Patrick´s comment :D You are very right...And Bonfire day sounds like a lot of fun...
    Oh, and I was wondering how did you unwillingly volunteer to cook dinner? :D

  10. Well, I've always volunteered to cook a roast dinner sometime for my family and give them a break from cooking since I learnt. I'll happily have my aunt and gran over for a meal. So my aunt chooses New Years Day, of all days, for me to cook and family includes my mum, step-dad, aunt, gran, and Pete. I didn't really want to say no because Pete then started getting all excited about me cooking. He keeps asking for a gammon joint. I have to be honest, I never had New Years Day in my mind when I volunteered to cook for her one night. I could probably cook a nice meal but oh my it's going to be stressful and there will be so much to do!

    Valia, I think I'd quite like having quite a few holidays to celebrate. America's very lucky. :) I'm jealous about how big Halloween is. I'd love to celebrate it properly.

    Rebecca, it's a really nice night. If you're ever around in England for Bonfire Night I recommend finding an event. There's always tons around. I've seen some amazing firework displays before. It's short but lovely to watch. :)