Happy LTBL Christmas! Our team has put together 25 days of blog tips to make your life easier and to spread Christmas joy! We’re so glad you’re here!
Hello and welcome back to LTBL! I’ve been writing for quite a few years now and thought it would be fun to share what I believe I’ve learned on theme-specific writing; the theme being ‘Christmas’ today! It’s just 2 more days to Christmas and we’re so excited and grateful to have had you along!
Planning the how and why
This is the first and crucial step to writing anything. Planning.
The how is essentially just how you want to convey or express your ideas. Do you want to drop a bombshell on the reader or express your ideas gradually with every sentence? Would you want your writing to be fast-paced and exhilarating or slow and calm? How do you want your readers to feel after they read what you’ve written – touched or intrigued, scared or loved? Do you want to use rich imagery or do more telling?
Thinking about the how and planning, if possible is rather important because it sets the atmosphere before you write and helps your writing lean towards that pre-conceived ambience as you write!
Now comes the why. Why exactly are you writing it? Is it because it’s an idea that’s been in your head for ages and writing would feel freeing? Do you want to raise awareness about something or are you celebrating something? It’s also crucial to ask how this piece of writing will help the reader or why they’re reading it. It doesn’t have to be anything monumental – if it provides a good reading experience, that’s reason enough!
Answering your why? questions will put into perspective where you want your writing to go and like the how? it’ll help you feel inclined to meet the needs your ideas put forward!
Coming to the core of this post, since we’re talking about Christmas specific writes, it’s imperative to dwell on the fundamental themes of the season so that we can infuse them as flawlessly as possible into what we write – be it a story, a poem or personal account.
While Christmas is considered a Christian feast, the season is of joy for all and as such, writing about Christmas doesn’t always have to be religious. The below mentioned Christmas themes can be incorporated into writing in numerous and versatile ways! The most commonly observed core themes of the Christmas season are love, giving, togetherness, hope, reflection and forgiveness.
If it helps to read one, Amendments Anew is a story I wrote that mainly revolves around forgiveness. It’s not the best but I hope it helps!
Methods of Incorporation:
I wouldn’t say this is crucial because most of the time writing takes its form as you write. Amendments Anew was initially meant to be a poem but it ended up being a hybrid of prose and poetry. However, I suppose it helps to an extent to have an idea of what you want the finished piece to look like. This is tentative and is simply more of a placeholder than a path set in concrete.
The only point to focus on here is to have a vague or general idea of how long you want it to be. Typically, free-verse poems are 500 words or less but there are poems that adhere to certain forms and others that can be pages long. It really isn’t set in stone and this should be just a vague idea. I usually stick to less than 500 words for my poems, less than 2000 for my articles and less than 1000 for my stories/prose. But that is just my preference. Depending on your audience and comfort, you can set your own word limits!
Something else that I’ve felt is that certain genres fit particular ideas better than others but of course, this is hugely subjective and ultimately depends on how much hold the writer has over different genres. Sometimes a poem feels the right way to say something while at other times, an essay might make more sense. Think about how you want your writing to be received and decide on a form. Do you think archaic, poetic language might help you get your idea across or would an article filled with factual points and statistical proof do a better job at that?
To illustrate, this is a poem a friend wrote, pertaining to Climate Change. In contrast, this is an article that I wrote about the same subject. Notice how her poem is evocative and poignant while mine is more of a formal presentation.
Consider we were both taking part in an awareness program – which form of writing do you think would do a good job at both raising awareness and moving people to do something about it? Something tells me the article would do a better job at curing insomnia.
I’ve talked about this before and I’ll talk about it again because it’s such an underrated source of inspiration! Use prompts.
Check this out – it’s a resourceful compilation by Rayna! : 25 Blogmas Prompts for Creative Writing Blogs
There is plenty of word, picture and line prompts just floating around the blogosphere and the internet – it’s just waiting for you to give it a sense of completion! I mainly use word prompts but I’ve been getting into image prompts lately and it feels exciting to feel yourself being carried away to write something you never thought about before. Or use videos and shows!
I’ve written poems inspired by songs and advertisements and I find that works too, haha! Just pick a song you’ve been enjoying lately and watch where it takes you and your writing!
For example, this is a poem from a series yet another friend started inspired by her favourite Ghibli movies! Please read them – they’re beautiful!
Use of winter
Winter! Winter is such a versatile season that can symbolise both grief and hope when you want it to. This makes it such a great season to be inspired by and can be used in so many ways. Either you can write about the symbolism itself or you can write a story set in winter or a personal account of a wintery experience. Since Christmas is usually in winter, winter-writes in December just end up feeling Christmassy in general!
A few winter themes are grief, rebirth, hope, solitude, reflection, coming to an end and Christmas too, in a way! Winter does seem more of a cold season than one that is joyful but there’s nothing to it that a good story or poem can’t rectify! Winter’s a beautiful season, there are so many layers and themes and emotions to it, it’s a joy to write with it or for it.
Folklore and Legends
This is definitely a must! With Christmas coming around, it’d be a crime to not be inspired by at least one of the several Christmas stories and legends around! While Christmas is predominantly a Christian feast celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, there are several folk tales on elves, Santa Claus, and Christmas trees. The origin stories of numerous Christmas carols also make for a fun read!
Some examples of amazing Christmas writes:
A Visit from St.Nicholas (Poem by Clement Clark Moore)
Letters from Father Christmas (Book by J.R.R Tolkein)
A Christmas Carol (Book by Charles Dickens)
Silent Night, Holy Nights (Christmas carol by Franz Xaver Gruber)
(the German and English lyrics are both beautiful!)
The Little Match Girl (Story by Hans Christian Andersen)
And we’re done! I hope you found that helpful and can’t wait to see all the amazing pieces you end up writing, Christmas-themed or not! Thanks so much for reading!
Let’s chat! What aspect of Christmas makes you feel like writing? And please feel free to share your Christmas writes! We’d love to read them!
D is a teen blogger @ Random Specific Thoughts who loves reading, drawing and anything Science. She adores poetry and enjoys writing essays and creative non-fiction as well!