There’s a song phrase that keeps rattling around inside my head. . .summertime and the livin’ is easy. To keep it from driving me completely over the bend I Googled the phrase to find the title to the song – Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald.
After reading the lyrics, I began to think that summers are usually more hectic than easy. First there’s the family vacation—where to go, were to stay, how long to stay, what to pack. Those who have children at home must plan activities around school vacation, then there’s the writers conferences we plan to attend, yard work, and, sigh, we’ve put off spring cleaning, so now we try to find time to clean out cluttered closets, and a host of other things that creep into our lives.
With all this activity, looming over you is a book deadline. If you’re like me, finding uninterrupted time to write during the summer is difficult. With every interruption it’s easy to lose focus of the WIP. Another problem is staying motivated when there’s a family picnic, or a pool party, or the stack of ‘to be read’ books sitting by your nightstand keeps calling to you.
To stay focused, motivated, and inspired to finish my current WIP, here are a few things I’ve jotted down for myself that I thought I’d share with you.
1. Keep a journal so that when ideas or snippets of dialogue creep into my head, I’ll jot them down. At my age, if I don’t write it down, in five minutes or less, I’ve forgotten whatever it was that I wanted to remember.
2. While I’m reading the paper or a magazine, if an article screams, “Idea” or “story prompt,” clip or tear out the article immediately. Create and “Story Idea” folder to keep those pieces of raggedy edged articles from getting lost under all the other stacks of stuff.
3. Set aside a specific time to write. Even it I have to stay up an hour after everyone has gone to bed. At least the house will be quiet and the phone won’t ring.
4. To whittle down my TBR stack—take a book with me to doctor visits or any appointment that requires me to sit and wait.
5. I plan to do five things that inspire me and refresh me from those long days of sitting at my computer: water aerobics, lunch dates with my husband of forty-six years, a movie, attending a session at my local library.
Summertime and the livin’ is easy – well, only if we make it happen.