Summer and Writing

Hello, SE Readers! Hope all is well in your world this Monday. My post today is short and sweet, but I think it’s something most of us can relate to.

Summer doesn’t officially arrive until later this month but believe me when I say it’s summer here in Texas. Ninety-degree daytime highs moved in a couple of weeks ago, and rainfall has virtually stopped. Not that I’m complaining. We had winter-like weather through the end of April.

I love summer. Longer days, shorter nights, spending time outdoors in the evenings while listening to the night sounds. I like being able to get up and go straight to my writing desk without waiting for the house to get warm. (We keep the house chilly at night during the winter months.)

Summer also presents challenges for many writers. Kids are out of school and demand more time. Many of us are involved in summer activities and vacations. Any number of things can interfere with our writing time.

For me, I have to adjust to my husband’s work schedule. He usually works the evening shift, which gives me time to write after I get home from my day job. During the summer months, he switches to a daytime schedule.

Not only do I cook dinner each night but the television is in the same room as my writing area. And my husband loves to watch TV. As much as I try to tune it out, I find the noise distracting and sometimes downright annoying. As I was writing this, he came into the room and turned on the one-eyed monster! At least he watched MASH! (Which in itself presents another distraction for me as that is my all-time favorite TV show.)

But there are practical things to do to keep up with our writing schedule. I can take my laptop and go into another room. We can get up earlier in the morning and write before the kids (or the spouse or significant other) is awake.

We can carve out a few minutes here and there during the day to get in some extra writing time. For those of us that work full time, we can write during our lunch break. Or, if we’re really industrious like P. H., we can carry a dictation machine with us and dictate as we drive.

Spending time with our families is important. And we all need some time away. If your budget allows, take a vacation. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Often the time we spend away from writing energizes us and makes us more productive in the long run.

What are some of your summertime challenges? How do you overcome them?

42 thoughts on “Summer and Writing

  1. I usually try to write after my son goes to bed, but he’s going to bed later and later as he gets older, and the summer time always pushes back the bedtime hour. I should have more time writing in the summer since I don’t work, but somehow the hours always get away from me. Lol! I actually find I write more while I’m on vacation. Apparently, car rides inspire me. Lol!

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  4. I don’t really have any additional challenges because of season change. It is always a challenge to keep focused. I would suggest you guys invest in a set of blue tooth earphones. If your set is not Bluetooth enabled then you can go to an analog set. Might make life easier in the long run

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  5. I love flower gardening, so writing in the summer often takes a back burner and that’s okay. I think it’s easy to burn out { catch the pun there? :)) if we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy other things once in a while. I never want my writing to become a chore.

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  6. I’m never as productive in the summer, but for the first time in several years I’m actually ahead with writing obligations and I’d like to stay that way. I’m going to make a valiant effort, but I know the pool will call. On the plus, I do a lot of research and plotting over the summer, two things that are easy to do poolside. I also want to use the next month to polish up a number of short stories I wrote decades ago. I’ve been wanting to do that for years, possibly bundling them together in an indie release, or saving them to submit to paying markets. I figure that will keep me productive, but be less intense than novel writing. My next deadline for that is December, but I also want to plot a different series to follow. So much to do!

    We’ve only had one day of high heat so far. Right now we’re unseasonably cool and the sun has been absent more than present. I’m still waiting for my summer to arrive, LOL.

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    • We’re actually having a “cool” day (the lower nineties instead of mid or upper). And rain is in the forecast! Sounds like you’ve got your summer writing schedule planned out. I say I’m going to do something similar every year but… At least the writing muse has visited me the last few days and I finally have a direction for my novel. I think I’m going to be one of those “soon to be reformed pansters!”

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      • Low 90s? sniff I’m so jealous. I would love that if I were by the pool!

        And I had to laugh at your “reformed panster” comment. It took the last book to push me in that direction. I’m going to see if the grass is greener, LOL!

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  7. I find I’m more demanding of myself during the cool weather. I always have something going on during the summer, but don’t take it too seriously. I’ve worked on short stories, and such during the summer months. This year it’s a novel, but if I’m less productive I’m okay with it. I’ve had two releases this year and don’t feel pressure to have another one. One year I took the whole summer off and worked on four different storyboards instead.

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  8. Previous years saw my son having summer school, so I was still able to write for most of the summer. This year isn’t going that way, so I’m going to focus more on outlining and small projects. I’ll get 9 hours a week in July to myself, so I’ll tackle a novella then. Beyond that, I’m going to be scrambling just to keep up with my social media sites. On the plus side, working hard since January has helped me get all of my 2018 releases into at least the first draft stage. Takes a lot of the pressure off.

    All of that being said, it’s the heat that takes me out the most. I don’t have a private space and people around here are paranoid about power bills, so we don’t really use the air conditioner unless it’s high 90’s. Be a little easier if the basement wasn’t filled to capacity with stuff, but that’s not the case. My options tend to be working upstairs where it’s sweltering and pray I finish before I pass out or I work downstairs in the main traffic path of people. Really hoping this year isn’t as bad as previous ones.

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    • Here’s hoping for a cool summer, Charles. But if our recent weather is any indication it’s going to be a hot one. Congrats to you on getting much accomplished already this year. I’m way behind on my writing schedule so I’ll be doing a little more writing than usual these summer months.

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      • The weather can’t make up its mind here. It was 80’s (feeling like 90’s) on Saturday. Now, it’s in the 50’s. Surprised the weather people aren’t doing their reports while drunk. I pushed myself really hard to follow this schedule and I think it might have gone too far. I’m going to try to take it easier next year as long as I can still do the writing in general.

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  9. I can’t imagine living in the south without it. I grew up in the north (our summer heat/humidity was still really high), and we didn’t have it when I was very young (and didn’t really care). Just box fans in the windows. When I was in junior high, we had a window unit in the living room. Going upstairs at night was miserable. A health issue prompted my parents to get whole-home air when I was in high school. I’ve never been without it since. Heat alone can be a distraction.

    Now that my kids are home for the summer, I’ve begun working in my bedroom. It’s not nearly as comfortable, but at least it’s quieter. But I’d rather be uncomfortable and have them here than have the house to myself. It’s all a trade-off, I guess.

    Maybe try noise-canceling headphones, Joan.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh and I can remember not having air conditioning when I was a child. It didn’t bother me as much then. I was either acclimatized or it was simply because I was younger. We got a window unit and later air conditioned the entire house. Can’t imagine life without it now.

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  10. Television – aagh…not conducive if the other person wants to read or write. My computer was in the bedroom, but then I was still typing (noisily according to Cyberspouse) at bed time. Now since rearranging the house and turning the garage into a man cave… I have my little office which looks out over the back garden – where I love to be on the longest days of the year!

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    • Sounds like a wonderful place. My house needs a man cave or an extra bedroom that I could turn into an office. But most of the time, my space is fine. I’m content here and I have windows where I can look outside.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Harmony, I feel your pain. I can’t imagine life without air conditioning – it’s a must in many parts of the country. Hot is one thing. Hot and humid is another (and we’ve had it bad this last week.)

    Hoping for some cooler weather for you!

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  12. Humidity is my worst enemy, lols. I used to have a portable air-con unit but a storm last year ripped all the slats of the wall vent and spewed rain into the house, meaning I had to close the hole and render it … no more air-con. In the UK, we just are not geared up for the humidity, and this year is a killer. We literally went from snow and ice to hot and humid with no in between, lols. At only 10:25 on this Monday morning, I feel exhausted and floppy just from the weather, and it’s only gonna get hotter. The other writing nemesis is that the sunny weather means more events and visitors. Instead of writing yesterday, my fiance and I sat outside at the picnic table and played chess, which was quite fun! Have a great week everyone 🙂

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