While you may write fantasy fiction, finding time for a Christmas holiday is your ultimate fantasy. When you’re a self-employed author or freelance writer, it can feel impossible to take a weekend off, let alone a Christmas vacation. And even if you can make a break in your writing schedule, we know it’s more complex than shutting down your computer on Christmas eve. You have to finish projects, consider your finances and implement processes to completely switch off and avoid the daily email check-in. Easier said than done, right?
To help turn your holiday fantasies into reality, we’ve put together our top tips for navigating the Christmas holiday as an author so that you can kick your feet up like your full-time work companions this year.
Changing our mindset
You don’t just deserve a break for all your hard work; you need a break. Once you change your mindset and accept that taking a holiday is helping your business, the whole process becomes more manageable. We get it you love writing, and perhaps spending weeks not writing seems impossible right now, but trust us, taking a break will improve your business. Being proactive by setting up processes and procedures for taking time off won’t just make taking a Christmas holiday a breeze but foolproof your business for unforeseen pauses. Remember, if you’re running a solo author business, chances are you don’t have anyone to fall back on if you get sick.
Tips for taking a stress-free Christmas Holiday
- Think ahead
Being self-employed comes with many benefits, although spontaneously taking paid leave isn’t one of them. When you’re working for yourself, the earlier you can plan your vacation, the better. Once you’ve set your holiday dates, you can easily organise any writing, deadlines and book launch timelines. That way, if any opportunities arise or editors outline deadlines, you’ll have a better idea of your ability to fulfil the project based on your holiday dates and say yes or no.
- Notify your team
Of course, you can remind your clients, editor, VA or whoever needs to know you’re taking a well-deserved break a week or so before you head off, but there’s no harm in letting them know months in advance. One of the best ways is adding a line to the bottom of your email signature. Something like: “I’ll be unavailable during xx as I’ll be in xx enjoying a well-deserved Christmas holiday.”
- Create a travel fund
It’s one thing to find time to have a holiday, and it’s another to have money to fund it. Just as you might put money aside for your tax and super, starting a holiday fund is smart. Each week, fortnight or month, set aside a designated amount of money, for example, 10% of your monthly earnings, to meet your holiday financial goals. And this goes beyond the holiday budget; you also need to know you’re other financial obligations are taken care of, like bills, subscriptions or wages if you outsource work.
Even if you’re on holiday, your business can keep ticking along. Take advantage of automated software like email marketing, social media scheduling, amazon or a Customer relationship management (CRM) system to handle any new leads or writing opportunities while you’re away.
Whether you need help finishing work before your Christmas holiday or during your break, delegating tasks is always a wise idea. Connecting with a reliable virtual assistant can be a real game changer in your author business. From reaching out to publishers to managing your emails, if you’re considering asking for help, you’ll love our article on how to delegate tasks to a VA.
- Be flexible
If you have a sudden surge of inspiration, let your creative juices flow and start tapping away. There’s no rule saying you can’t write on holiday but remember to make time for some much-needed R & R.
- Plan your return
You’ll likely feel energised and motivated after your break, so make the most of this newfound energy by diving head-first into a project. Before your holiday, if you have time, organise your office, block out time in the calendar and plan your writing schedule for a seamless return to work.
Why it’s essential to take a break as an author
We get it. You love what you do and could do it all day, every day! But taking a break from writing, whether a week or a couple of months, is essential for sustaining a thriving author business as it gives your brain (and fingers) a chance to rest and re-energise. It provides space for creative flow and for new ideas to percolate. Just remember to keep a notepad handy for when those characters or plot lines form.
Need help getting ready for a Christmas break?
At The Daring Press, we can help you with marketing, writing or finding the perfect virtual assistant. Book a strategy call to streamline your processes, automate and delegate so you can kick your feet up and enjoy well earnt relaxing Christmas Holiday.