Summer is often a challenging time for me to get any writing done. Not only does it offer the usual distractions-days at the lake, various summer festivals, and family day trips to the zoo or a museum-but my daughter is out of school, and I have to find ways to keep her busy. Because of her various issues (not least of which is continuing bowel issues, something we’ve been working on very hard this last month with varying results) I’m not ready to send her to any camps yet. I’ve got my fingers crossed for next summer. Until then, I’ve got Lilly to entertain and keep busy, and this precludes any kind of serious writing projects.
Despite this, I’ve managed to keep my toe in well enough. I’ve cut down to one blog post per week, but I’ve maintained this throughout the summer without much of a problem. If nothing else gets done, the blog post must be written, period. It keeps me accountable. If I’m not reading the latest book on my Kindle during quiet moments at work on the cash register, I’m jotting scene notes on 3×5 note cards for the next section of Wolf Dream. I decided that what I had was not nearly long enough to be considered a “novel”, and that’s what I want to put out. Since I have ideas for parts 2 and 3, I thought I’d simply put them all together to get a proper fantasy novel of 500 pages or so. I’m not sure if this will actually work, but for now it turned out to be a good decision, since I needed something creative to get me excited about the story again. I was getting a little bored with tedious line edits of Part 1.
I’ve also decided to become a real writer and sacrifice something in pursuit of my dream. So, instead of staying up at night to watch The Walking Dead, I’ll be spending that hour writing. Sorry Rick, Daryl, et al. I’ll get back to you in September. But for the month of August, I’ll be doing some free-writing on a month’s worth of prompts sent to me by The Southeast Review. At that time of the day (9:00 pm), I’m a bit bleary-eyed and scatter-brained, so no “serious” writing projects. But putting pen to paper regularly every night will keep me from feeling weepy and resentful at the idea of “not having enough time” to write. If I’m willing to lose sleep over the zombie apocalypse, I can stay up to do something I claim I can’t live without.
So a busy, fun summer, but also some writing, too. I just needed a different strategy.
How do you juggle summer family obligations and writing?