Friday, June 10, 2011

The Approach of the Summer Doldrums

We're a couple weeks from what calendar calls the beginning of summer. Here in Utah, most of the kids are out of school. They're running around the house, claiming they're bored, and looking at you to give them something fun to do. If you're a stay-at-home Mom, your school-year routine is shattered, and whatever quiet time you had to write between your household jobs while school is in is probably now spent shuttling kids around. And those of us whose lives discourage a regular writing routine now find it doubly hard.

Vacations are looming on the horizon. The yard has to be maintained again. It's too nice to hang out inside, at the computer, especially if that's how you spend your work day. Besides, that writing nook, so cozy in the winter but now stiflingly hot, is no longer a refuge when so much needs to be done and there are little distractions fighting in the next room, or coming in because they're hungry, or reminding you that it's time for swimming lessons, or asking you drive them to their friend's house on the other side of their school area boundaries, or whatever.

Writing groups have trouble getting together because people are out of town on vacations, scout trips, or church camps.

The whole world is conspiring against the writing life, never an easy life in the best of times.

So what do you do? How do you keep going? How do you keep the WIP from foundering hopelessly on the summer tide while you wait for the autumn winds to fill those sails again? Share your strategies here. A lot of us would love the suggestions.


Julie Daines said...

I build a moat with lava around my writing area. Then I equip it with multiple booby-traps including but not limited to poisoned darts, alligators, attack zombies, and radio-active waste. Yeah, the kids know to leave me alone when I'm writing.

My children are good at entertaining themselves. And as long as I pay no heed to what they're doing, we all get along just fine. So far, nothing has burned down and no appendages have been lost that can't be easily replaced. (Not including that little piece of the dogs ear.)

Everyday in the summer I give my kids a half-hour job and a half-hour reading assignment. Since they are typical kids, they work as slow as humanly possible and so their half-hour job often evolves into a half-day job, thus extending my writing time.

And if all that doesn't work, I find if you ignore them long enough, they eventually go away.

Scott said...


We've discovered that when kids go away, they come back. Usually with reinforcements.