“Fall Back” into a Productive Writing Routine

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September is upon us, pumpkin spice lattes are back in the coffee shop, and school is about to start. That can only mean one thing: fall is back! With a change of seasons comes new opportunity and challenges for writing. For me, autumn is good time to get work done. If you attend or teach school, it might be a little harder, but even those responsibilities bring opportunity. Read on for how I fall back into a writing routine and see if you’re ready to tweak your schedule in a way that makes writing more productive.

Goodbye, Summer

I’m a teacher (adjunct professor at the local college), so I understand that for students and teachers, fall is a busy time. This is when you’re cranking up, starting over, and adjusting to a new timetable. (The rest of you were juggling all summer, so fall might feel like another Monday!) However, if your life changes once August or September hits, depending on when school starts, this can be an opportunity.

Summer this year was radically different for me than last summer. We were out and about, visiting friends and family, with no discernible schedule. It was great on a personal level. Writing-wise, however, work was almost nonexistent. I’ve been away from my house, staying with relatives and in rentals, and my young child has been home. I haven’t had the mental or physical space to do anything other than live in the moment. I chose to just enjoy it, especially in light of learning an important lesson from the pandemic about appreciating freedom and community. That’s all about to change in the fall, however.

Hello, Fall

Back to work and school means having a schedule, and consistency is key for fitting in writing. Even though you might have more to balance, sometimes that can be an asset because you’re forced to focus and get organized. Honestly, I don’t know where my days went this summer. But in the fall, we have consistent bedtimes and wake times. We have a rhythm to the day, and I have quiet time while my son’s in school. (I work from home.) Even if you have more responsibilities or constraints on your time, you might find fall’s cadence helps you write on a reliable schedule.

Change Seasons, Change Attitude

With the right perspective, any change of season is an opportunity. Writing life might ebb and flow. Maybe your schedule gets in your way, or maybe you are stuck for whatever reason. It’s helpful to look at a new season, month, week, or date as a chance to reset. You don’t have to wait for Monday or Day 1 of anything; rather now is your chance to make a change.

I personally think that fall, in particular early fall before Thanksgiving hits, is a great time to be productive. There is a back-to-the-grindstone attitude in the air with school beginning, work life picking back up, and no major holidays in sight. We’ve come off the fun of summer, and we’re ready to work. I know this is the attitude I’m taking—starting after Labor Day. Good luck out there!

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About Author

Mary is a young adult writer and archaeologist. By day she teaches at a local college, and by night she writes about the adventures of adolescence.

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