7 Ways to Keep Writing in Summer
Blue skies, sunshine, lazy days and heat-induced lethargy. Barbecues, vacations and great, relaxing fun times.
But what about the writing? When does the writing get done in all this fun?
Relaxation is great for the heart and soul, but it can be hell on the writing. All the good times can leave little time for writing, and even if you have the time, you might not have the mental energy writing requires.
So what's a writer to do?
Here are a few suggestions, taken directly from my own life. Because, you see, all of a sudden I'm back in love with writing my novel and I'm doing whatever I can to find time to work on it, which sometimes means coming up with some creative solutions.
1. Find nooks and crannies of time. This is my best advice for busy times. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes. Even 5 minutes lets you reconnect with your work. Set a timer and go. Work on your current project, write to a prompt, do a journal entry. Writing breeds more writing and the more you write the more you'll write. Do you really need to catch up on the news about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise? Does that email have to be done right now? Write instead.
2. Write outside. Working inside on beautiful days can feel confining. So take your writing outside. I love sitting with my laptop on my deck, writing. I spent Saturday afternoon out there reading manuscripts. When my kids were little, I'd take them and my journal to the park. I'd sit at a park bench and write while they played. Never failed to re-inspire me.
3. Get up early. It's still lovely and cool in the early morning hours. The birds sing and you can watch the sun rise (or at least see the sky lighten–my office faces west). Nobody else is awake yet to bother you and you can get a lot of writing done.
4. Write on vacation. Yes, really. Travel inspires my writing and so does, in some strange way, movement. I love writing on planes and in cars. If you are bothered by motion sickness, try Sea Bands, which you can get at your local pharmacy. They are cloth bracelets with a plastic tip embedded that stimulates a pressure point on your wrist and they work like magic.
5. Set your intention. Never underestimate the power of thought! Set the intention that you're going to make time to write and repeat this intention to yourself often. Makes it much easier to follow through.
6. Get fired up. As I mentioned above, I'm now in love with the novel I'm writing. It took a bit of slogging to get to this point, I'll admit, but now that I'm here I'll do anything to make time to write. So get yourself fired up–and honestly? The best way to do this is to work regularly until you find your groove.
7. Release the worry. Think of all the energy you spend worrying about not writing. I know I do. Let it go and release that energy for your writing. Often when you give up the obsessing it clears the mental space you need to focus again.
These are my best tips for getting the writing done during these glorious days of summer. What are yours?
Photo by mterraza.