Monday, June 1, 2009

Balancing Your Writing Career with Summer Time

Karin Larson - joined in the lively discussion last week about completing your first draft and critiques and mentioned in her post:

"My mission, for the summer at least with the kids home, is to just write, write, write and worry about the perfecting and editing later."

Karin's mission has provided me with another "Duh Moment," one I think may work for me.

I chatted with my girls after school today about their day and I mentioned to them my goals for this summer with my writing. Which included my plans to keep up with writing first thing in the morning and all other writing relating work and my Marketing Manager position at SFCMagazine after my writing session is complete.

My oldest, Nicole (14) looked at me strangely and said,"Uh duh, isn't that what you always do? Isn't that why Daddy got a door put on your writing room?" (for many of you that know writing space was the original playroom/family room and once I started taking my writing more seriously my hubby had a pocket door installed).
Leave it to a child to point out the obvious and give me that slap upside the head. Now if I only head my own advice and write, write, write first and then edit later, I just may finally reach the finish line of my first draft.

Now on to you, what are your plans for your writing for the summer time when most of us have either children or grandchildren under foot? Will your routine change somewhat or dramatically so you can accomplish your writing?

Looking forward to your input.


  1. Fortunately, no children underfoot! And I have kept my appearances and seminars light this summer so I could complete a current project and continue building promotions for a fall release.

    I'd shut and lock my office door, but my cats would tear the carpet outside to shreds if I did that!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Diane:

    Thanks for stopping by. Good for you on your sound plan for the summer. Pets certainly become part of the family with their demands and expectations. LOL.

    Best wishes,

  3. Sheila Deeth posted a comment here, but for some reason it is no longer showing. Here it is:

    Aghgh! Many plans to write. Many distractions. And a son that I'm supposed to encouraging to write. He's currently playing the electric guitar in his bedroom, and I love it.

  4. Donna,

    I'm glad you could get a duh moment from my comment. I'm now doing the same from reading your words. It is now about 12:30, and I've accomplished no writing thus far. Softball, flower shopping, laundry--yes; writing--no. So, per your suggestion, I'm going to start prying myself out of bed earlier in the morning to accomplish my writing, first and formost. Thanks for the "duh!"


  5. Donna, interesting posting. Well this summer (was going to be a good one but supervisor has had emergency surgery and all - so things are changing a bit) would have been a great one for me to get ahead on my state stories but work trumps writing. As soon as I get back on track from my supervisor's emergency medical issue and get the work cleared up - I do plan on getting ahead - state #3 is completed other than some edits and sending to publisher for her edits and the teacher's guide is almost complete for that as well - I need one more thing to put in and to complete the end-of-book quiz - then I can send that for editing. #4 is started - at least all the clues are in place and in order so that will be worked on as well as #5 getting going. I would like to get several books ahead so that when school starts back I can worry about the family stuff again - of course it helps that my kids (yes, two teenagers) are going to be gone for 4 and 6 weeks of the summer respectively. Anyway - happy writing - see you all in the postings - E ;)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    STATE OF WILDERNESS, Book 1 of 50 now available.
    STATE OF QUARRIES, book 2 of 50 now available
    STATE OF RESERVATIONS, book 3 of 50 coming 2009

    WHERE WILL THE ADVENTURE TAKE YOU NEXT? (series newsletter forum)

  6. Summer's such a marvelous time and we all have such plans. No kids underfoot, but it's a great season for riding, gardening and other fun outdoor things. Makes it hard to get to the typewriter.

    My plan is to get my YA novel in shape. It's another horse story and my grandkids tell me they'd like to read it. (At least the oldest one would! -- One is a bit young!)

  7. From Linda Wilson: Hi Donna,

    I've enjoyed reading about writing schedules. This and your other informative correspondence I find very motivating and rewarding. Thank you for all you do.

    I'm excited about my summer schedule and hope to pull it off. Here it is in a nutshell:

    Continue writing stories and articles for children's magazines
    Finish adult nonfiction articles I've already started and won't start any more until I finish the ICL book course
    I just signed up for the ICL Writing and Selling Children's Books and am on Lesson 1. My goal for the course is to write three longer novels (not the three shorter books they offer) all at once! One will be sent in as my coursework. The other two will follow along with the course and be kept private. When I finish the course then I hope to have all three to offer for publication!
    This is definitly a goal only. I have an advantage (from a writing standpoint!)--my two daughters are grown and gone--and I am retired, so I now have more time to devote to writing.

    I'll let you know at the end if I make this goal!

    Best wishes Donna, you're terrific!


  8. Sheila: distractions definitely seem to be the #1 cause of interruption of our writing. The lure of it.

    Karin: getting up earlier certainly helps me I hope it helps you too.

    Elysabeth: Sorry to hear about your supervisor's emergency. Hope all goes well and I'm sure you will get back on track.

    Nancy: Looking forward to hearing more about your new manuscript. Best wishes.

    Linda: You certainly have a lot on your plate for summer. Best wishes with the ICL course.

    Ladies...I've enjoyed hearing about your plans for the summer. Looking forward to hearing from more.

    Best wishes for everyone's continued success,

  9. Hey Donna!

    You always have the greatest discussions at your blog. I have a 4 and 2 year old underfoot, so summer and school really have no effect on me- yet! :)

    For me writing time comes whenever I can fit it in. I try not to put too much pressure on myself and accept what I can get done. Mornings definitely work best for me and at night when everyone's sleeping!

    Too funny about the door!

    Happy writing!

  10. Lori...oh the balancing acts we do. It's amazing many of us are not professional jugglers. Enjoy the summer with your little ones.

    Best wishes,

  11. Hi Donna, Thanks for recovering my comment. And thanks for a fun conversation. Those kids...

    But I entered a competition today at - hoping my son might enter it too.

  12. I don't know how you ladies with children manage the time to write. All I have are a husband, two cats, and lots of wild birds, but my time disappears, often with very little accomplished.

    My summer schedule is the same as the rest of the year. Mornings are for writing and editing. And checking email. Afternoons are for promo, research, reading, and the household things, sometimes. Evenings I like to work on my websites and blogs and visit message boards.

    My poor husband doesn't complain, but he sometimes comes into my writing room and sits on the sofa to talk. I can take a hint.


  13. Hi Donna:

    As far as my writing is concerned, I am lucky that I don't have any kids underfoot! However, I have other distractions.

    My sister-in-law has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and is starting radiation treatments in less than a week. So, I'm quite upset about her.

    My own mother has congestive heart failure and she is having difficulty coping with daily life. So, she needs a lot of help!

    I have learned in life that things will happen and there will be endless distractions. And despite all this, I still strive to write consistently.

    So, every day I write for three to four hours, and I read for one to two hours. I am lucky because I just recently became a part time instructor at Conestoga. I used to be full time. But arthritis has forced me to change my teaching time. So, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to devote more time to my writing.

    My goals for the summer are as follows:

    1. Redraft my "Freedom" Novel.
    2. Finish writing "Inspire Me", another YA novel.
    3. Redraft and send off five other YA articles that have been sitting in a file gathering dust.
    4. Write another picture book and revise the first picture book that I wrote.
    5. Finish Lessons #4 and #5 in my ICL Beyond the Basics Magazine writing course.

    I will keep you posted as to how I am doing.

    This is a great blog. You are so motivating!Thanks Donna!

    Take care,
    Irene S. Roth

  14. Beverly...LOL...Tom does the same thing. When I ignore him for a bit for some reason his throat starts to get scratchy.

    Sheila...good luck in the competition. Let me know how you make out. goodness you certainly have a lot going on. My prayers are with you, your sister-in-law and mother are these trying times. Hang in. You certainly have an ambitious To Do List---Good luck!

    Best wishes,

  15. Donna, my kids are grown and I don't have grandkids yet -- so my summer schedule doesn't change much. But the roads to/from work (I earn my living as a computer software engineer) are much less crowded, and we spend more time (weekends, for me, mostly) down at our place on the cape ..
    and I do end up having more time to write in the summer.

    I have two manuscripts I plan to actually submit (somewhere!) this summer .. a chapter book, "The Ugly Little Boy," and a rhymed picture book manuscript, "Old Tom Troll" (probably needs a snappier title ..)

    plus I want to get back to work on my math poems.


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