“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
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?