Friday Speak Out!: Maintaining Momentum Through the Dog Days of Summer

Friday, July 28, 2017
by Joey Lynn Resciniti

This summer has been glorious. Carefree, sunny days slip by while we sleep late and lounge poolside. The rapture of summer break is interrupted occasionally by reality. I should be writing. Or promoting. Or doing something productive.

But it's hot and my daughter is twelve. Surely she's not going to want to spend this much time with me next summer, is she? The demands of house and home win out and another day passes without any creative thought or productive activity.

Since too many deadlines will have passed by the time school resumes at the end of August, I must refocus my efforts. We're approaching the dog days of summer and it's time to develop momentum that will last to the fall. Here's the plan:

1. Get up before the rest of the house. Morning isn't my most productive time for writing, but a quiet hour in the home office can be beneficial in other ways.

2. Keep a running list of goals and deadlines organized and always visible. Crossing things off of a list always gives me deep satisfaction. Tasks need to be accomplished according to their importance, not just their palatability at the moment I undertake to do "real" work.

3. Be more selective about the little moments here and there that are so easily filled by scrolling a social media feed. Read a blog with a guest post opportunity, jot some notes about one of many works in progress, research, read, but please, stay off Facebook!

4. Make a meal plan for the week. The indecision surrounding mealtime is draining time and creativity from each day.

5. Carve out one hour per day for writing. Before bed, while dinner bakes, any quiet time when it's possible to slip away undisturbed, write!

6. Get as much mother-daughter quality time as possible. It's true that she probably won't want it next summer, so balance all of the productivity with adequate downtime.

With a little more structure, I should be able to achieve some of my writing goals during these last weeks of summer. How do you maintain your productivity this time of year?

* * *
Joey Lynn Resciniti released her first novel, No Room For Hondo, in June. She enjoys procrastinating future projects at her home in the north suburbs of Pittsburgh while spending long summer days with her husband, daughter, and the family's two shih tzus. Read more about their adventures at the Big Teeth & Clouds blog
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Joey Lynn--It's true. Your daughter's friends might be a bit more important than you next summer. So you're right in taking advantage right now.

However, Jodi Picoult wrote two books with her daughter. Perhaps you could embark on something like that?

Congratulations on your novel, and good luck with your future writing endeavors. (I procrastinate too.)

Angela Mackintosh said...

Wonderful post, Joey Lynn! I'm SO there with you with the meal plan for each week. The indecision kills me! I subscribe to several of those meal kits though, so that knocks out three days a week. I tried four, but have narrowed them down to two: Home Chef (my favorite) and Hello Fresh. I knocked out Plated (too complicated) and Blue Apron (not enough choices). I'm thinking about trying Purple Carrot (the vegan one). I just have to remember to select my meals before they auto-select for me.

I've been writing in the morning, right when I wake up. I'm just too tired by the end of the day now with all the sunshine and swimming. I'm also taking two writing classes, so that forces me to work.

Your novel sounds great! Thanks for sharing your tips. :)

Mary Horner said...

Great advice, and I've been thinking about those meal plans to help free up some time for writing. Thanks for sharing your favorites. Also, you are correct about the mother-daughter time, enjoy it now when you can!

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