For writers who wish to continue their passion despite time consuming obligations, coupled with large gatherings of friends and family members, the journey is quite the challenge. Rather than accepting the fact that finding a suitable environment to develop creativity is hopeless, it’s probably best to get creative in that sense. It’s more important than ever to think of new ways to generate creativity and spark your imagination.

Finding the time to sit down and write during periods of constant commotion can be a hindrance to any writer, even outside of the holiday season. One thing I’ve found that works wonders, is other than simply leaving the room, try experimenting with different writing mediums. If you’re someone who typically writes on a laptop, consider having a journal nearby. Writing by hand when you’re used to typing can bring about a surprisingly dramatic change in your thought process. Even more so, switching to mobile to finish a thought or sentence can give clarity, as well as give you a decent excuse to step outside for a moment. I prefer apps that can seamlessly save my notes between my phone and laptop.

Write something that’s outside of your comfort zone. Sticking to your normal creative process time after time can actually regress your creativity. If you feel that the subject you’re covering in that moment is lacking in passion or just doesn’t have the feel you were aiming for, scratch it. While this may seem like a waste of time, continuing to force the scene can actually waste more time, in addition to creating a scene that you’d rather not include in your piece.

If you’d prefer not to scrap an entire scene, take a break from that and writing something completely different. This can be a journal of your thoughts, a documentation of those around you, or an entirely different piece of literature. The goal is to give your mind a break from the task at hand while still keeping the creative writing juices flowing.

Keep in mind that during the holidays, you may be around a lot of people. Writing, in a sense, is about people. Find inspiration in your surroundings and expand on any ideas you come up with. Do you have an aunt or uncle that had one too many cocktails? Could their now impressive change in speech volume translate to a characteristic for the antagonist of your story? Ask your friends and family members if they have any stories they’ve failed to tell you in the past. Anything new can help. Despite potential distractions, thinking of new angles could be slightly simplified with the added crowd and noise.

When all’s said and done, continuing to write while the holiday season is in full swing can be tricky. The strategies mentioned above can certainly help, but don’t limit yourself to just those. Being creative means thinking for yourself, ignoring doubt, and above all else, applying yourself. So, during your family Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa party, rather than feeling overwhelmed, embrace the chaos and let your writing immerse itself.