3 Tips for Wrangling Writing Time Out of a Kid-filled Summer

My Husband and our three boys -- Fun family time

“Like all creative endeavors, novel writing rewards practice. Many accomplished novelists sit down to write largely for the challenge of trying to write something bigger, better, more profound than before. For the dedicated novelist, there is no end of stories to tell.” -Donald Maass, The Career Novelist

My Husband and our three boys -- Fun family time
My Husband and our three boys -- Fun family time

About this time of year, at the end of the school year wrap-up, my three boys and I grab a few markers and sit down with a white board. Why? To make our “What do we want to do this summer? List.”

For me, I LOVE summer. I enjoy unscheduled days with the leisure of a quiet day with my guys. Tennis, bike rides through the forest, hours by the pool, working our way down the summer reading stack, time to veg out with good friends and good food … these are all things we love and look forward to doing in summer. But it always goes too fast. So that’s why we make a list. If we don’t set the things we want to do beforehand, they never get done.

It’s the same with writing, I find. I love to write … and I try to write every day, especially during the hours that my guys are in school. But now that summer is here, I have to make that writing time a priority for each day, even if it is a small allotment.

How do we, as writers and as moms, make a little time to do our work, to accomplish some writing, even during the busy fun of summer?

Here, three tips I try to follow to get a chunk of writing done each day:

1) Make a writing calendar, and write in a goal for the days, weeks, and for the summer (say, two months). Be reasonable, setting an hour or so aside for writing each day. Bite-sized chunks add up. The most important thing is consistency!

2) Determine a set place and a set time which will best work for your family and your schedule. Maybe the hour before everyone wakes up, or during a set hour of their favorite television show. After about two weeks, you will find that your mind is really ready to write at that time, because of the habit.

3) Spend the rest of your day enjoying time with your kids— going to the pool, getting together with friends, reading books, whatever you all enjoy! That way, summer can be fun and guilt-free. It’s been lived to the very fullest!

Just think– with one hour of writing each day, say 500 words, after 50 days or roughly two months of non-weekend writing, you’ll have 25,000 words. Stick with it each day and the accumulation of small chunks of work will be a great reward.

How do you get your writing in during the child-filled summer months? Any tips to share?

 

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

9 thoughts on “3 Tips for Wrangling Writing Time Out of a Kid-filled Summer

  1. Thank you for this practical, helpful post. I start obsessing about how it will all get done, but you’ve calmed me down. I can certainly find an hour a day to write with them at home. The rest of the time we’ll just enjoy ourselves.

    Thanks, again!

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    1. Hi Erika!

      Thanks– I’m glad it helped. It is tough to find a good balance, especially depending on the ages of your kids. It seems like every summer’s needs are a bit different, because they’re always growing. Fun, but always a challenge!

      You’ll get your writing done … and you’ll be able to enjoy the summer with them as well. I can’t wait to hear how you’ve fit the writing in …

      Enjoy your summer!

      Jennifer

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  2. Jennifer – You know I am not an author; but 1 on the things we do each summer is a set schedule for the kids. They have an hour of “school” work each day, 30 min of reading, 10 min of writing about what they read, 10 min of Journal writing and 10 min of Math/Science/Social Studies (different each day). The set time is right after breakfast before the day gets away from us. This ensures they don’t lose any of the things they worked on during school and it gives me time to focus on work I need to accomplish.

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  3. Jennifer – You know I am not an author; but 1 on the things we do each summer is a set schedule for the kids. They have an hour of “school” work each day, 30 min of reading, 10 min of writing about what they read, 10 min of Journal writing and 10 min of Math/Science/Social Studies (different each day). The set time is right after breakfast before the day gets away from us. This ensures they don’t lose any of the things they worked on during school and it gives me time to focus on work I need to accomplish. Often times they read even longer, but this is the plan!

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    1. Hi Jill!

      This is a fantastic way to do summer! Congratulations to you all (especially the mom!) for having such a nice routine that enables fun and a little bit of work.

      Thanks for leaving what works for you– great idea I’m sure many will benefit from.

      Have a great summer!

      Jennifer

      Like

  4. Hi Jennifer! Great post! Today is my 3yo’s last day of school and I’m already worrying about writing time! Fortunately I usually write and night– and the swimming pool totally wipes him out! Early to bed…not so bad!

    It’s tempting to schedule ever minute of our kids’ summers, but nothing beats watching them run thought the woods with their buddies or jump off the diving board!

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  5. This is so spot on, Jennifer! For me (even with some childcare help) small chunks is the ONLY way to get it done. I spent half of my childcare time with the one or two kids while she is with the other. That’s just how it goes.

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