There is a very good reason I added in all the Christmas prompts to the newsletter. It’s the same reason you should take armfuls of photos and notes whenever you’re on holiday anywhere. It’s this:

You think you’ll remember, but you don’t.

Or maybe you do, but you won’t be able to recall all those tiny details that make something feel truly real to a reader. They’re things that feel so obvious when you read them, things that will make you cry out, “yes! that!”, because right up until that point you had forgotten how specific it was. These are the things you want to remember by writing them down. It’s very difficult to describe what it’s like to be too hot if it’s snowing outside. It’s also very difficult to recall the sense of relief tinged with sadness that you get when you’re taking down the christmas tree, if you’re lying about in a park in May.

Make notes about everything. Remember the details. You’ll build up a stock of accurate recollections you can turn to if you need it, and some of it might even spark something else off.

  • The first day back at work/school after the christmas break – routines, alarms,
  • New Year’s Eve – in or out?
  • the dead zone in between Christmas and New Year
  • One family tradition you love/hate
  • How it feels when you’ve eaten too many…

Be specific. Be honest. That actually covers most of the writing advice I’d ever want to give. Repeat, ad infinitum.