3 Ways to Write Through Summer Distractions


Summer time is inevitably full of stops and starts in our writing. There are vacations, the pull of a sunny day, kids’ activities and much more. For me, I’m teaching several professional development classes this summer; local teachers must attend 60 hours of PD/year and often focus on this requirement during the summer. Great work for me, but more starts and stops. (In fact, I have 3 professional development classes scheduled for next week, so I may be scarce.)

Here are some strategies I try during the summer.
Think. Well, just because I’m outside at the lake doesn’t mean I can’t be thinking, daydreaming about my characters. While I’m driving to a PD class, I can do the same. Often, I’m considering details: should this character love red sports cars or black SUVs? Or, I’m just carrying on a conversation with the character about what I’m seeing or doing. That way, I get to know their inner workings.

Netbook. When I have to spend the night somewhere, I always take my netbook and try to work an hour before sleep. I love my netbook. If you’re looking for one, the June 2010 issue of Consumer Reports has a comparison of netbooks and laptops.

Scribble. I also love the Moleskin pocket notebooks to carry about to scribble notes in. Sometimes, I write a scene, other times, just make lists. It’s a simple tool, pencil and paper, but it works. Portable, easy.

What are your summer time challenges? And how do you deal with them?

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  • Natalie Aguirre
    July 5, 2010

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with summer distractions. And I thought summer would slow down. I think about my character like you do. And I try many days to at least write for 15 minutes. Though I accept there are times, like when I have company, that it’s too hard to find time to write.

  • Kate Lynch
    August 4, 2010

    Summer distractions are still here…I love time with my kids, don’t get me wrong, but the dog days of summer has got a hold on me. But I figure it this way-if I can commit to one revision regarding narrative arc, I think I’ve accomplished a lot.
    Hang in there fellow writers’!