Christmas Week for the Professional Writer
by Amelia Painter
You’ve got your home decorated inside and out, you’ve completed most of the Christmas gift list, and now the family phone calls are starting to come in. You still have a little shopping to do, be it for last minute gifts or food items still needed for Christmas Day’s table, and your home office is anything but tidy, yet it can’t be straightened up until the end of the work day on December 24th.
It’s a time consumer.
It feels dreadfully important.
The truth is … it’s not more important than your writing, especially if you’re a professional writer.
This time of year can be a challenging juggling act. You can’t neglect obligations to your loved ones, but you must devote time and energy to your clients as well.
For myself, the days leading up to Christmas Eve mean waking earlier than usual to send out extra reminders about unpaid invoices, since I want to close my books on December 31st with no outstanding overdue balances, along with working evenings, if necessary, to meet deadlines, pin down clients on dates work will begin in January. It is a time management challenge that would impress any contestant on the popular culinary television program “Chopped.”
It may even be necessary to limit your availability to chat with friends and family. It is important you make it clear, in a thoughtful way, that calls during working hours need to be highly important or authentic emergencies. Remember, this is your livelihood and the people around you must have a healthy respect for that fact. Just because your office is located in your home does not mean your working hours are less important than theirs, especially this time of year.
My home office area is located adjacent to the kitchen so every time my husband pops into the kitchen for a fresh cup of coffee or a quick snack, he is tempted to ask me a quick question or share about the hummingbird family we often watch from our front patio. It isn’t always easy to keep “I’m working” reminders cordial, but it is imperative. My marriage has a higher priority than most anything else in my life, but I do have a job and extra responsibilities this time of year. Working from home is a challenge during the holidays.
Christmas can be fun and festive – it just calls for time management, patience, and a few longer working days. Extra hours you will be pleased you spent when you sit down to your delicious Christmas dinner with all your loved ones who appreciate and respect all you do to enrich their lives.
Amelia Painter is the author of six books and the owner of Amelia Painter Press, a web and graphic design firm based in the Phoenix area. Visit to learn more about her services and books.