So the big day is almost upon us. The goose is getting fat and all that. But how is your writing notebook shaping up - is it suffering, absolutely stuffed full of festive/winter ideas that you can't close it? Or is it looking a little slimline with not a crumb of a mince pie having passed its pages? On a previous posting I was mulling over what to write about and Sally commented that she would suggest we write about seasonal things while we are slap bang in the middle of it. I quite agree. We should, as writers, be ultra nosy, I mean observant, and take note of the details of Christmas and the winter period:
Listen to the snow as it crunches underfoot.
Enjoy the silence a blanket of snow brings - don't you find the world is muffled under snow?
Watch the snowflakes as they spiral to the ground.
Watch the cars slip sliding along the roads.
Walk through some woods in the snow and hear the branches creaking and groaning with the weight of the snow they carry, and watch little flurries of snow fall from the branches.
If you can't get out in the car, don't get frustrated. Instead, revel in the moment. Accept this temporary house arrest and use it to fill your ideas notebook/folder up.
Look out of the window and gaze upon the magical winter landscape and let your imagination run riot.
What aspects of the Christmas/winter season could you capture and write about for next year's magazine market?
Go for a walk in the snow and record every sensation, sound, sight, touch, emotion that you feel.
Listen to weather reports and note the language and terminology they use to forecast the weather. Describe the weather report. Do you know any weather reporters you could interview? Or do you know of any non-scientific ways to forecast the weather? Do they work and how?
See how many top ten or top five festive/winter tips you can compile.
Do you know any unusual Christmas/winter customs or traditions?
Can you identify different types of frost and snow?
Can you look back at weather reports for your area and write an article about what's been happening over the last fifty or 100 years or further back?
The list is endless!If you do all the hard work and research now, when you come to pitch the ideas later on in 2011, it's not going to take you long to get the articles written and sent off. Even if some of your ideas are rejected, no research is ever wasted and you can always adapt the idea to try with another magazine or look at it again for a future Xmas/winter.
Happy writing! And Merry Christmas. I hope you achieved at least some of your writing aims this year and I wish you all the very best of luck in realising your writing dreams in 2011 and beyond.