For some of us, nothing much changes in the summer. We still have jobs to do, family obligations, and household chores. We might want to sneak in a vacation, and we may notice it’s a little warmer outside, but other than that, it’s business as usual. But for others, summer is the season when we try to recharge our batteries. We appreciate the longer days and the sunshine. We feel the slower pace of the season.
So, what does summer mean for our writing life? Well, the answer is as individual as each of us, but I like to think about my creative life in terms of seasons. Over the years, I’ve learned to work with my personal rhythms, on a daily, weekly, and seasonal schedule. Want a peek inside my slightly OCD head, or need some advice on overall time management? Check out this post: Take Charge of Your Time.
When I honor my rhythm, my productivity over time is really good. I think it’s important to consider our schedules from both a short and long term perspective. When we learn what works best for us, we can maximize our productivity and creativity. Here are some tips.
Recognize your writing rhythm.
I am most productive in the fall. The crisp days, and my quiet house with the kids back to school, recharge me. I fill my writing schedule during this time of year and take advantage of my energy level. Summer feels different. I want to enjoy the backyard barbecues and yes, maybe, a few more cocktails, so planning to generate a lot of content just isn’t realistic. However, I am very creative in the summer. I love to bring my laptop outside and write on the porch, or take it with me on vacation and sit on the pool deck. Summer reminds me that although writing is my actual job now, I can still find great joy it.
Don’t be afraid to change up your schedule in the summer.
Because I recognize that I function differently depending on the season, I feel free to adapt my schedule to honor those rhythms. Summertime affords us more daylight, the ability to be outdoors, and potentially a slower pace to our days. Can you organize your time differently in the summer? Maybe wake up early, make a cup of tea, and write on the front porch for an hour before the rest of the house wakes up. Or take your laptop with you to the park or the beach and let the fresh air rejuvenate you.
Create realistic goals.
Be honest with yourself. Are you really able to complete the entire first draft of a manuscript while the kids are home from school, or while your in-laws have come for a vacation? Do you simply want some time off this summer? It’s okay! Give yourself permission to take the break you need – just set your goals accordingly. Maybe lower your word count expectations.
This summer is different, for sure!
We all need to renew ourselves. Before Covid ruined the summer conference and convention schedule, I always planned travel during the summer. While I definitely need time to recover after an event, being with other writers or my own fans absolutely helps me to recharge.
This summer, things are a little different. But, I live in coastal New England, a beautiful part of the world especially in the summertime. For years, I’ve wanted to spend the entire summer here instead of traveling, and this year, well, I don’t have a choice. So, I’m going to make the best of it by pretending I’m on a writing retreat and sinking into a new creative project.
I look forward to the summer. I love the sunshine, the warm weather, the beach, and the slower feel to the days. I also look forward to the creative burst I feel at this time of year. If you learn to recognize your personal rhythms and preferences, you can maximize your productivity and creativity over time.