Sunday, August 05, 2012
Staying Focused on Writing in the Summertime
Plus, I don't know what the weather is like where you are severe heat and humidity make it very difficult to sit here, never mind have the brain power to pound out some work.
But as we talk about often here on WOW, it's important to do whatever you can to stay focused on writing, no matter what's going on around you. Here are some of the things I've been doing that have helped me stay focused this summer:
~ Set smaller, more frequent goals. During the school year, I have specific time slots in the day where I can do nothing but sit and write. In the summer, having four kids to entertain blows that out of the water. So what I do instead is have the same goals but break them up througout the day. For example, I have about two-and-a half hour stretches in the fall/winter. Now I just break that up into half-hour or twenty minute spurts where I can fit things in between our plans.
~ Make my writing time, my time. Even though my kids are still young (nine, seven, five and four) and need my help, they are old enough to entertain themselves for those small slots I mentioned above. During that time, they understand Mama needs to do one page of her novel/write a blog post/etc. then we can go do something else or I can help them with whatever they need. They let me have my work time, then they know they'll have my full attention.
~ Too hot to work? Leave it. There is absolutely no point in trying to work in 35*+ weather. It's hard enough keeping my patience and concentrating on regular stuff, never mind trying to get a story or article done. Unless you're lucky enough to have central air (which I don't), leave it until it's a bit cooler.
~ Take it out with you! I have a mini-laptop that I carry around with me when I take the kids for funtime activities like the park or the indoor playground. They all run around and blow of energy, and I can get part of my daily writing goal done. Work your writing into what you're doing.
~ Limit the time-draining jobs. I guest blog on several different blogs/websites but reduce it to the ones I'm most passionate about during the summer months. I also don't do as many book reviews, interviews, etc. so I can spend the precious time I do have (when I have it) on my own writing. Doing this also relieves a tremendous amount of stress.
~ Have fun, then work. You know that it's better to come back to that chapter or article when our minds are clear and we are rested, refreshed and relaxed. This summer, I've allowed myself to have a bit more fun and it's made a difference.
~ Join/create a writing support group. I joined one on Facebook that a fellow author created. It's a great idea to get that motivation and support from others in the same situation as you are (Most of the authors in the group I joined are also trying to work with young kids afoot).
These are just a few things that have been helping me stay a bit more focused. What are you doing that's helping you stay on track through the heat and distractions? Let's chat and share.