Summer is a temptress. She dazzles us with bright colors and hot sun. Every year, we impatiently await her arrival. For many, she is a welcome respite after a long, cold winter. She exudes a sense of lightness and freedom and her flamboyance and playfulness is infectious. School is out and children suddenly find themselves with loads of time… to play! And they don’t waste a minute. With the rigor of school schedules and extracurricular activities set aside, parents reconnect with their children. Men and women start to loosen up a bit and their busy lives begin to take a back seat to weekend barbecues, picnics and summertime activities. That glorious smell of barbecue grilling wafts from house to house.
Yes, summer is a temptress. But, as a writer who is working on multiple book projects while trying to promote her newly published book, it is difficult to resist the lure of summertime distractions. Am I up for the challenge? Can I muster enough will and discipline?
I’ll let you know at the end of the summer.
In the meantime, I am going to try out some of these tips. Maybe they can help you, as well.
1. Channel your inner Gumby
The key is flexibility. Summer schedules need to be flexible, not rigid. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up to fail. “Fail” is perhaps too strong a word, but I’m sure you understand my meaning.
2. Move like an inchworm
Take it one steady, small step at a time. Break up your day into increments of time – time to research, time to write, time to relax and time for eating and sleeping. Set smaller, more frequent goals and milestones for yourself and this will encourage you to keep moving forward and ultimately fill you with a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, if you flit like a butterfly – from task to task – nothing will ever get completed.
3. Set your boundaries
Let your family and friends know when you’re in the writing zone, so that they can respect your space and privacy for the time that you’ve allocated. Afterwards, they can have your full attention.
4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
It’s summertime. Focus on the most important and enjoyable projects, then make a plan to tackle the rest in the Autumn months.
5. Bring it outside
You don’t have write behind closed doors on a beautiful summer’s day. Take your laptop or notepad, a pot of tea or coffee, and do your writing (and thinking) outside. If you live in an apartment and don’t have a yard, pack yourself some refreshments and go to your nearest park. If you live near water, sit on the beach or by the lake. Maybe the sights and sounds all around you will bring you some interesting perspective or inspiration.
Enjoy your summer and happy writing!
Images via anordinarywomn.net, gumbyworld.com, piedmontwildlifecenter.org, writingforward.com, dorrys.com and cloudsandchecks.com.