With many of us still enjoying the autumn color and warm afternoons, it’s hard to believe that the holiday season kicks off next month. For writers, that thought can bring a wave of anxiety, knowing we have only weeks to write—I mean seriously write—before all the holiday hustle and bustle set in. But don’t let anxiety keep you from making these next few weeks productive. In fact, now is a great time to get busy writing, make some sales, and get into the festive spirit. Need some suggestions on how to get started? Check out this list of holiday-themed writing ideas that’ll lure you straight to your computer.
Think of a particularly funny, emotional, or inspirational anecdote from a past holiday—a long, lost relative who showed up at Christmas dinner; a historical blizzard that changed holiday plans; or a holiday prank that backfired. Write an essay for an anthology or draft a blog post.
Re-read some of your favorite childhood holiday stories, then think of a new way to tell the story, using modern characters, settings, plot twists, and themes. Write your new holiday story and submit it to a children’s magazine.
Need a deadline to get you motivated to write? Research holiday contests, like those from FanStory.com, and choose a contest with a theme that inspires you. Write your story or article, keeping in mind the deadline, and enter it in the contest.
Write an acrostic poem about the holidays. Acrostic poems are easy and fun, and they can be written for personal enjoyment or sale. All you need to do to get started is come up with a holiday-related word. For more information on writing acrostic poems, see my earlier blog post.
Pick an item in your home that reminds you of the holidays. It might be a knick-knack on your fireplace mantel, a table furnishing, a photograph, or just something with holiday colors. Use that item as a starting point for a mystery, romance, or historical fiction story.
Have a favorite holiday recipe that you’re willing to share? Many magazines, websites, and newspapers look for recipe submissions to share with their readers. Consider writing a brief history or background to submit with your recipe.
Many animals remind us of the holidays—reindeer, puppies, and cardinals, to name a few. Choose an animal that you associate with this time of year and research the connection. Write an article discussing the unique correlation between the animal and the holiday season.
Pick a country that you would like to know more about and learn how they celebrate—if they celebrate—the holidays. Stories about other cultures are widely popular with both children and adults. Check Writer’s Market for publications that accept cultural holiday stories, and submit.
If you’re looking for gift ideas, why not give the gift of your writing? Put together a booklet of holiday memories, with pictures, for friends and family. Or, make a calendar filled with favorite photos, and write a short description with each month’s entry.
Start a holiday journal for personal use. Discuss your thoughts on the upcoming season and New Year. You might also use your journal to brainstorm for writing ideas, goals, and plans for the next few months or year ahead.
The holiday season is fast approaching, but there’s still plenty of time to write. Choose any or all of the above ideas, and make these next few weeks and months some of the most productive yet.
For more help on writing holiday stories, see For Some Festive Fun, Write a Holiday Story.
Image by Marcus Quigmire