Laptop/Notebooks. This is the most important thing to have. I know the holidays can be completely chaotic and crazy. They are for me, and I'm typically not great at writing when I'm visiting family. My goal is to do better at that this year, and one obviously needs their word processor or notebook in order to write. If you're limited on space, save your projects as word docs and use the computers at whatever relatives your visiting. And of course, make sure you have your creative writing notebook with you wherever you go. As always.
Books. Again, this is a given. I suspect that for most of us the issue is narrowing down our options. Make things easier on yourself by choosing paperbacks and ebooks. And may I recommend a subscription to Audible.com. You get a free audiobook just for signing up, and those are fantastic options for long car rides. I also recommend bringing poetry and short story collections, as those are easier to ingest in the quick, low-focus chunks of time you're likely to have when surrounded by relatives.
Headphones. To give yourself some music or background noise to help you focus while little ones play around you.
Camera. The holidays provide great moments to record for possible story ideas, and blog and social media posts. With the appropriate permissions, of course.
Plan your writing schedule. I know that for my family, once everything gets going we go and go until we're all basically asleep on our feet. But the thing is, we don't usually really get going until after lunch. That means for me, if I can get a bit of writing in earlier on in the day, then I get the writing done and don't miss or interrupt the Russian teacake baking and Muppet Christmas Album singing and the Jim Carey quote wars. (I can't miss that because I always win. No child can defeat the Grinch.) Basically, figure out the best way for you to incorporate writing into the holiday schedule. It may not be your normal schedule, and you may not get your normal amount done, but at the very least you can keep your momentum going.
Collaboration ideas. I have some siblings who also occasionally enjoy writing stories, and we've had some fun times doing the back and forth collaboration thing. Or maybe your cousin plays the guitar, and the two of you can write a funny Christmas song with which to annoy your aunts and uncles. Or maybe your aunt is a great artist and the two of you work on a book to give to your Grandma. Whatever your situation, holidays can be a fun time to collaborate, and I believe any creative endeavor is worthwhile.
What do you think? What other supplies and strategies can we writer's use in our holiday travels?
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