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Before you know it, the holidays will be here. For those of us writers-who-like-to-bake, that means one thing: it’s time to start thinking about making Christmas cookies and other holiday goodies. But don’t put away your writing tools while you’re mulling over recipe ideas. Instead, why not combine the two and craft an irresistible holiday treat recipe? You can share it with friends, submit it for sale, or just have it tweaked and ready to use when baking day arrives. Writing a holiday cookie recipe is also a fun diversion from the usual routine and a great way to learn about recipe writing. Here are some important tips to follow:

Make It Easy

Complicated holiday recipes aren’t just complicated to write; they’re hard to follow. Avoid too many steps, wordy instructions, and using unfamiliar baking terms and processes. Holiday baking should be fun, easy, and festive, not tedious and complex. The simpler and clearer the recipe, the better.

Be Fresh (Or Add a Fresh Twist)

Write a recipe that’s truly yours. Many Christmas cookie and holiday treat recipes are out there, but only yours is made by you. Make sure it’s unique. If crafting your own version of a well-known holiday treat, add a fresh twist to it—an unusual ingredient, shape, or texture that makes it one-of-a-kind.

Use Common Ingredients

Some of the best holiday recipes (or any recipes for that matter) are those made with common, everyday ingredients. No one likes to search far and wide for specialty baking items. In fact, most people will scan a recipe first to see if they have the ingredients on hand or they’re easy to buy. Keep in mind that most grocery stores carry popular holiday baking ingredients during the season.

Offer Extra Tips

What makes your recipe come out beautifully every time may be a baking technique you follow, like roasting nuts before adding them to the batter, refrigerating dough overnight, or using unsalted versus salted butter in your recipe. Be sure to include any tips that give your recipe that extra level of perfection and deliciousness.

Include a Picture

Pictures make all the difference when it comes to trying new recipes. If the end result looks tasty and appealing, chances are someone is going to want to bake it. Use an attractive display—a colorful holiday platter, for example—and photograph your masterpiece to include with your recipe.

Ready to do some recipe writing before you start your holiday baking? You’ll appreciate your well-crafted treasure for seasons to come—and so will others.

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The holidays are fast approaching—which means it’s time to get writing! Put aside any thoughts of a pre-holiday writing break and get ready for some festive and productive fun. Holiday writing is plum full of opportunities that can bring bounds of joy, not to mention some well-earned cash. Try these ideas, and prepare for holiday season 2017 the writer’s way:

Get Ready for the Winter Olympics

Craft a story or article about the 2018 Winter Olympics, just around the holiday corner. Write about the host country of South Korea, a new sport being added, a rising star athlete, or whatever angle strikes your interest. Olympic topics are engaging, plentiful, and lucrative.

Write a Holiday Recipe

Got a unique holiday recipe you’d like to share, like a festive cookie or a favorite dish from your great-grandma’s recipe box? Food publishers are always on the lookout for tasty holiday fare. Be sure to test your recipe out, write it well, and include mouthwatering pictures.

Go on a Shopping Spree

This one will pay off big; you’ll get a jumpstart on holiday shopping and first dibs on the inventory, plus you can sell a piece about your shopping experience—like tips on finding the perfect gift, how to beat the rush, where to shop, and ways to get the best deals this season.

Write Your Personal Gift List

The holidays are all about giving and receiving. Focus on receiving for a minute and consider what might boost your writing potential in 2018. A new style book? A different desk or lamp for your office? Don your thinking cap and put together a gift list that’ll help further your career.

Draft a Holiday Game

If you enjoy playing games during the holiday season, here’s an idea: create one of your own. Draft holiday trivia questions or a word game or puzzle. Holiday games and puzzles are in high demand, especially in the children’s market. And who better to write an intriguing game than you!

Research Holiday Writer Events

Lots of events for writers come to town during the holidays. See if one of your favorite authors is scheduled to speak, look into a writer’s workshop, or attend a local bookstore’s holiday event. Listening and learning from the pros can go a long way in enhancing your writing efforts.

Don’t let the holidays slide by without taking advantage of the many opportunities available to utilize and hone your craft. Try these activities, and prepare for a productive season of writing.

Image by Negative Space