Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Juggling Summer Days and Writing

Summer has come, life changes. Kids are home. Vacations and weddings are around the corner. Daily routines shift. How will you manage writing this summer?


10. ORGANIZE: This has earned the fine distinction of number ten because it’s one of those jobs writers hate. Ever wonder why movies depict authors/writers sitting in a room filled with stacks of papers and shelves of books?

9. DUE FIRST: When in doubt, do what is due first. When feeling lazy, Do What Is Due First. When uninspired, DO WHAT IS DUE FIRST.

8. BIC: This is not a pen. Butt In Chair. Flittering distractions yank us from our train of thought, assist us in sensing the need to call Aunt Josephine who lives in Siberia even though you haven’t spoken to her in 37 ½ years, motivate us to check facebook or email for the tenth time in the last hour, or invigorate us to do ANYTHING except finish the last sentence of that chapter.

7. REWARD: Set up quality rewards when completing designated portions of your WIP. Go ahead. Give yourself a reward—not because you deserve it—but because it will inspire you.

Set times to be away from your WIP. Go to a park, coffee shop, or the mall. Sit back and listen to the people around you. What do they say? What inflections are used? What don’t they say? Here is my favorite example: One afternoon, while sitting in my dining room the neighbor children came out to play. Three-year-old Henry announced to the other children, “OK, let’s take turns. Everyone behind me."

Take time to do daily chores. When the laundry is done, the grass mowed, or the dog walked you'll feel more freedom to write.

4. PLAY: Who says you’re too old to play? Find a partner, whether young or old, and play a game. Interested in basketball or bike riding; care to climb a tree, play a board game, or the piano? Playing stirs the creative side of the brain.

3. READ:
Try a new genre this summer. It might be like taking medicine, but you may survive. Step out of the lines: read a comic, a picture book, something nonfiction, or what about Shakespeare, Unger, or Asimov? Read a chapter book with a child and hold a book talk. You might be surprised what they say.

2. LAUGH, CRY, and SING: Hermits are allowed to express themselves, although it works better with a friend or family member. Did you know the Bible says God laughs, cries, and sings? Zephaniah 3:17 states: The Lord your God in your midst is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing. (I can’t wait to hear Him sing in heaven!) To experience life is to acquire reality for our writing.

1. BUDGET: Work in a regular time with God, everyday. The more time invested in a relationship with God, the more you will produce what God has called you to do. You shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth fruit in season. Psalm 1:3

What fun ideas do you have planned for this summer? How will you gleam kernels of truth, humor, and quotables to use in your future writings? What would you like to complete this summer?


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Mary, this was EXCELLENT!!!! I could relate to almost all in your list! The BIC is HUGE for me. lololol (PUN INTENDED...bwahahahaha!) I have trouble making myself sit and just do it! Hopefully I can get it all done this summer.

Mia said...

Great tips, Mary. I just received some unexpected news, and my summer is going to be way busier than I thought. I'll definitely keep your list in mind :) My goal this summer is to finish the first draft of my WIP by July 7th (I know, RANDOM date, but I'm a random person), start the editing process, and start gleaning ideas for my next book. I'm going to be busy with writing this year ;)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I totally agree. I get caught up in the "something shiny" or as others might say "squirrel" syndrome. Struggles with discipline...blech. OK, back to work! I'm going...I'm going.

Mary Vee Writer said...

How exciting! Care to give us a hint what you're working on?

Casey said...

Oh Mary I am with Sherrinda, #8 is too funny. That is SO me, which means I literally have to unplug the internet and go to my room, far, far away and write. Really helps me stay focused. :)

My WIP should be done by next week (the rough draft) and then it is off to enjoy the summer!! A vacation planned for August, fair in September, VBS in July and then back to the books. :) I really can't wait!!

Awesome post!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Just think of all the great sights, sounds, chatter, conversations, actions, etc. you'll gleam at VBS, the fair and on your vacation. Wowsers, an author's delight!
Have fun.:)

Krista Phillips said...

Mary, what a WONDERFUL list!!!

For #9... I also ascribe to the "Do the easiest" mantra too. If I have 10 things on my list... and 6 of them are easy and can get done fast, when I get overwhelmed I do them first (even though they may not be DUE first) because then I FEEL better looking at only 4 things to do vs 10! Kinda like the Dave Ramsey Debt thing... get rid of the smallest first, then work on the big stuff. Now, you can't do that FOREVER, but it works for me:-)

and yes, my butt NEEDS to be glued to my chair (currently a rocking chair with a nice comfortable ottoman that I can prop my oversized feet on, ha!)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good point. I use Dave Ramsey's debt idea as well and it sure applies to the writing pile, or any work pile for that matter. Great idea. Thanks for adding your idea!

Pepper said...

Sorry to be late on this today. Love the top 10, but really, really don't like organize...or daily chores. ;-)

BIC is hilariuos though. How does that fare for a person with ADHD tendencies ;-)

Casey said...

Uh, sticky glue Pepper?? ;)

Pepper said...

LOL, Casey.
Something a bit stronger, I'd say.
Monkey glue?

Casey said...

Can you type and walk on a tread mill at the same time?? Seen Nim's Island, I am referring to that author in that movie. :D

Pepper said...

Created my own treadmill desk just for that purpose :-)

Casey said...

Hey, then you are all set!!

Casey said...

Oh P.S. I want a picture of you doing it too! LOL. :D

Pepper said...

Ooo, just had a thought! Duct Tape
AND it would make a great picture ;-)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I once had a student who had ADHD yet earned straight "A's". I kept her seat in the back row where she could flop over, crawl under, or snake around her desk. All her work was done on time and correctly. I actually found her to be a wonderful gem. As are you. So flop, crawl, or snake around your desk chair and write on:)

Casey said...

LOL, great advice Mary. :D