If you’re anything like me, you live for the warm summer months. Between long days at the pool, vacations at the beach, grilling with friends, outdoor drinks while watching fireflies—what’s not to love? But with all the extra activities that summer brings, you may find yourself a little short on time for writing. Yet somehow, every year summer tends to be the time when I can get the most writing done. But this summer’s different.
This summer, I’m in the middle of publishing my debut novel. While I have many of the major things on my to-do list checked off, publishing has a steep learning curve. I’m knee-deep in researching marketing. What’s more, I need to edit my sequel, edit my prequel novella, get both to my editor, and work on my newsletter. The majority of the writing I need to do this summer is re-writing, which isn’t the fun first draft madness I usually love diving into in the summer.
Despite that, some of the techniques I use to buckle down and write in the summer will still help. Here’s what I have planned:
1. Buy Scheduled Writing Time
I’m a mom of five kids. Summer isn’t just my favorite time of year—it’s my children’s, too. And while I want to spend as much time with them as possible, one of the things that has helped me over the years in getting things done in the summer is hiring a mother’s helper every summer. Having another set of hands with my kids can be incredibly useful in order to build time into my day to write. By scheduling some specific writing time into every day, I’m able to write more and faster. And with a helper to do things like grab snacks, supervise sidewalk chalk, and deflect some of the constant questions, I’m able to focus better.
2. Give Up Some Winter Habits
When the cooler seasons of the year are upon us, you can usually find me baking non-stop in my kitchen. At night time, my husband and I like to hang out after the kids go to bed and watch tv. And I also tend to do more documenting with my camera and social media.
But when summer hits, a lot of these “winter habits” tend to feel more superfluous. I also don’t want to be constantly heating up the oven on hot days. The good thing about letting go of some of the things I do more of in the cooler season is that it gives me time for other things—like writing. Instead of sitting and bingeing Netflix shows, I haul out my laptop at night and write. And by not being such a slave to some of my other hobbies, I can focus on ones that support my writing habits, like reading. (Not to mention that reading is such a great thing for vacations!)
3. Take Your Summer Writing On-the-Go
Among my favorite techniques to get writing done in the summer? Write on-the-go. That means taking my laptop with me outside next to the pool while the kids splash around. Or grabbing a notebook and pen and working on plotting while I watch them play in the yard. Sometimes, it means dictating whole chapters into my phone while I push kids on the swing set.
The key to getting writing done in the summer for me tends to be just pushing myself to do it, all the time, whenever I get a chance. It’s intentional. It’s planned. And more importantly, it’s about remaining dedicated.